A Baird’s Sandpiper (Calidiris bairdii) (right) was sighted with two Sanderlings (Calidris alba) foraging along a lake outfall.
Baird’s Sandpipers breed in the arctic regions of Alaska and Canada and then travel a long migration route through the interior of North America to winter in South America. They are considerably uncommon on either coast but have been noted from time-to-time in Florida.
The Baird’s is a beautiful bird that can easily be mistaken for a more common long-winged peep, the White-rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis). (Below)
It certainly took some time, but with some wonderful photos (and a lot of analyzing) we were able to conclude that we, indeed, saw a Baird’s Sandpiper in the Florida Panhandle.
On the top is the Baird’s Sandpiper and on the bottom is the White-rumped Sandpiper.
Also, the Baird’s has a thinner, slightly straighter bill compared to the bulkier, drooping White-rumped bill.
Lastly, take a look at the Baird’s lifting its wing. Its tail is exposed just enough to show that its rump is indeed brown! If this were a White-rumped you would see a white patch of feathers across its rump.