SURFBIRD


Aphriza virgata


Description:

Because of its high mountain Arctic breeding habitat, its nest and eggs weren't discovered until 1926.


Appearance:

General: Sexes similar. 10 inches in length.

Adult Alternate: Grayish-brown, black, and white streaks on head, chest, and back. White underparts with small black "V" marks. Rusty scapulars with black tips. White wing stripe. White rump and tail with black subterminal band. Short, dark, fairly thick bill with yellow base to lower mandible. Short yellow legs.

Adult Basic: Solid gray upperparts and breast. White belly with gray streaks. White wing stripe. White rump and tail with black subterminal band. Short, dark, fairly thick bill with yellow base to lower mandible. Short yellow legs.

Juvenile: Similar to adult basic, except it has pale edges on its back and wing coverts.


Habitat:

Rocky shores.


Nesting:

4 buff eggs with spots of various colors. The eggs have a ? day incubation period. Fledging occurs in ? days. The nest is bare ground amoung rocks. Breeds above the timberline, on the mountain tundra, in the Arctic mountains of Alaska.


Observed Locations:

  • Beach north of La Jolla Shores, La Jolla





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Adult Alternate

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Adult Alternate

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Adult Alternate

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Adult Alternate

 

 


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Copyright © Scott Streit, 2000.