The mystery shorebird is a Baird’s Sandpiper (Calidris bairdii)



This is a small, but relatively long-winged sandpiper. It is similar in size and appearance to the White-rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis), but is buffier and has a dark rump. The two species share an elongated form, due to the long wing projection beyond the tail.


A key feature in the mystery photo is the dark rump—a White-rumped Sandpiper in this pose would show at least a hint of a white rump. The brownish upperparts (as opposed to grey), fine bill, and lack of streaking along the flanks also point to Baird’s Sandpiper.


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