Audubon Florida News

Baird’s Sandpiper Visits Panhandle Beach

posted on December 1, 2015 in Birding,Coastal Conservation

Baird's SandpiperCheck out this uncommon visitor on one of our Florida State Parks’ western beaches!

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.

Now let’s take a closer look…
White-rumped SandpiperCan you see on the white flanks on the Baird’s, whereas on the White-rumped you can see some dusky streaks?

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.

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