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Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday's Foto

With the "Fall" shorebird migration upon us, I thought I'd make my next few Friday's Foto postings a species of shorebird.

During migration the Stilt Sandpiper is an uncommon visitor to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. This medium-sized, long-legged wader is often described as looking like a yellowlegs but feeding like a dowitcher, often plunging their head underwater. In breeding plumage it is heavily barred brown-and-white with a white eye-line that separates a rufous cap and cheek. In basic plumage it is pale gray, with a light, unstreaked belly and white eye-line. They breed in the Arctic tundra above the tree line in sedge meadows near water. After the nesting season they migrate South primarily through the Great Plains, wintering in South America with small numbers casually north to Florida and southern California. An interactive range map can be seen here.

Its scientific name, Calidris himantopus, is from Greek and means grey-colored waterside bird; wading bird, (from himas, himantos strap, thong; pous foot).

The Stilt Sandpiper in not on the 2016 State of the Birds Watch List and their conservation status on the IUCN Red List is "Least Concern" due to their large range and apparently increasing population.

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