Earlier this week I saw several Stilt Sandpipers feeding in small pools of water in the pasture area between the beach on the Gulf of Mexico and the more elevated wooded areas that attract migrant songbirds. The birds were in breeding plumage (see details in the image descriptions) which facilitates identification.
Note the yellow legs and the reddish patch below the supercilium (the white eyebrow stripe).
The long black beak is slightly down-curved and wider at the tip. The underparts of the bird are heavily barred.
Three Stilt Sandpipers feeding as a group. All the other Stilt Sandpipers I saw were feeding with Yellowlegs and Dowitchers with no other Stilt Sandpipers around. Note that the color of the legs of the bird on the right is obscured by shadow.
Stilt Sandpipers are long distance migrants. They breed in the open arctic tundra of North America and migrate, primarily, to inland central South America. Although some overwinter in the southern U.S., I have seen them only during fall and spring migration.
Glimpses of Our Natural World
I am an amateur photographer with a specific interest in nature photography, especially bird photography. I live in Pensacola FL and specialize in photos taken in Central Florida, the panhandle of Florida, the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Texas.