Tips for using Browse:

Browsing is a valuable way to learn about birds, however it is a brute force approach and not designed for identification. A more sophisticated approach to finding a bird with specific field marks is to use the Step by Step Search. You can also try the Wizard to find a bird, which uses a question and answer approach, but again it does not give you the flexibility of the Step by Step Search.

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Wilson's Snipe
Wilson's Snipe: This medium-sized sandpiper has brown and black mottled upperparts, buff striped back, white underparts, dark bars on sides and flanks, heavily streaked head, neck and breast, and yellow-green legs and feet. Feeds on insects and earthworms. Zigzag flight on takeoff, followed by direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Common Greenshank
Common Greenshank: Large sandpiper with scaled gray-brown upperparts, white rump, and white underparts, streaked and spotted with brown on flanks and sides. Yellow-green legs. Bill is slightly upturned. Eats small fish, insects and larvae. Swift direct flight with clipped wing beats.
Wilson's Phalarope
Wilson's Phalarope: This medium-sized sandpiper has gray-brown upperparts, red-brown streaks on back and shoulders, red-brown markings on white underparts, gray crown, white face, black eye-line, a black needle-like bill, gray wings and a white tail and rump. Female is brighter; paler crown and grayer upperparts. Feeds on crane flies and brine shrimp. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Red Phalarope
Red Phalarope: This medium-sized sandpiper has dark gray upperparts and rufous neck and underparts. It has a white face, black cap, and a thick, straight, yellow bill with a black tip. The female is more brightly colored than the male. Feeds on small fish, insects and aquatic invertebrates. Flight is swift and direct with rapid wing beats.
Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit: Large, tall godwit with black-barred, orange-brown body. Orange-brown head and neck, and white mark between eye and bill; combination of prominent white rump, white wing bar, and pure white underwings is unique among the godwits. Black-tipped yellow bill is long and straight.
American Woodcock
American Woodcock: Medium, stocky sandpiper with buff-brown underparts and dark-streaked gray-brown upperparts. Head shows black bars rather than the stripes of most other sandpipers. Eyes are black and very large; bill is dull yellow with a black tip and is long and stout. Pale gray legs and feet.
Common Redshank
Common Redshank: Large sandpiper, scaled black and brown upperparts, dark-streaked neck and breast, white eye-ring broken in front, pale belly and sides with dark chevrons. Dark wings with white trailing edges visible in flight. Legs are orange-red. Short bill is red with black tip.
Gray-tailed Tattler
Gray-tailed Tattler: This medium-sized sandpiper has gray upperparts and cap, white eyebrow and throat, a gray streaked breast and pale gray underparts. The wings and tail are dark and the legs and feet are yellow. It feeds on insects and larvae by probing in sand and water. It has a direct flight with quick wing beats. The sexes are similar.
Ruddy Turnstone
Ruddy Turnstone: This medium-sized sandpiper has red-brown upperparts, white rump and underparts, and a black-marked face. It has a short, dark, slightly upturned bill, a white tail with a black terminal band, and orange legs and feet. The wings have a unique brown, black, and white pattern visible in flight. Feeds on invertebrates. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Ruff
Ruff: This large sandpiper has variably-colored frilly tufts on the neck, ranging from black to rufous, to white to speckled and barred. It has an orange-brown head, white belly, orange bill with dark drooped tip and orange-yellow legs. The female lacks ruff and is smaller than the male. Diet includes seeds, insects and other invertebrates. Low, direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Red-necked Phalarope
Red-necked Phalarope: This medium-sized sandpiper has a brown-striped dark gray back, mottled gray breast, white throat and belly, gray head, nape, and flanks, rust-brown neck and upper breast and a thin black bill. Females are larger and more brightly colored than males. Diet includes insects and crustaceans. Flight is swift and swallow like, with rapid wing beats, quick movements and turns.
Red-necked Stint
Red-necked Stint: This small sandpiper has mottled brown upperparts and streaked cap. Underparts are white; upper breast is rust-brown and spotted. The face and throat are rust-brown and the bill, legs and feet are black. Forages on shore; sometimes probes mud. Feeds on algae and aquatic plants, insects and insect larvae. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Wandering Tattler
Wandering Tattler: This medium-sized sandpiper has solid gray upperparts and heavily black-and-white barred underparts. It has a finely streaked face, a dark eye line, long black bill, white eye ring and dull yellow legs and feet. Feeds on insects, larvae, worms and mollusks. Quick, direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Whimbrel
Whimbrel: This large long-legged sandpiper has brown and white mottled upperparts and buff underparts with faint streaks on sides and flanks. It has a white-striped black crown. Neck is long and streaked; long black decurved bill, blue-gray legs and feet. Tail and rump are brown and black barred. Diet includes insects and worms. Direct flight with strong fast wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Spotted Redshank
Spotted Redshank: Large sandpiper, mostly black body in summer except for white rump, white spots on wings, barred tail. Bill is red with black tip. Legs and feet are dark red. Winter bird (shown) has gray upperparts and white underparts. Feeds and forages on land or in shallow water by probing in mud, and sweeping bill back and forth. Swift direct flight when flushed.
Surfbird
Surfbird: Medium sandpiper, dark gray upperparts marked with rufous, white rump, white underparts marked with distinct black chevrons. Upper breast, head, neck are heavily streaked. Wings are dark with bold white stripes visible in flight. Tail is white with a black triangular tip visible in flight.
Eskimo Curlew
Eskimo Curlew: Small curlew, brown mottled upperparts, buff underparts streaked and mottled brown, and pale cinnamon wing linings. Bill is moderately short, not as strongly curved as similar curlews. Crown has two dark stripes. Wings noticeably long on perched bird. Last sighted in Canada in 1982.
Far Eastern Curlew
Far Eastern Curlew: Largest curlew, very long, decurved bill, longest of any shorebird. Dark brown with heavily streaked underparts. Blue-gray legs, feet. Eats crustaceans, marine worms, insects, larvae, invertebrates. Strong steady flight, rapid wing beats. Flies in straight line or V formation.
Purple Sandpiper
Purple Sandpiper: Medium sandpiper, upperparts are scaled gray-brown, crown is dark, and white underparts are streaked. Bill is dark with a yellow base and slightly decurved. Wings have large white stripes visible in flight; tail has dark central stripe above and is white below.
Wood Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper: Small wader with green-yellow legs. Dark brown streaked crown, white eyebrow, and dark line through eye. White underparts with brown-gray streaks and marks on neck, breast, and flanks. White rump. Gray-brown back and wings with pale brown mottling.
Marsh Sandpiper
Marsh Sandpiper: Slender, medium-sized wader. Brown-gray wings and upper back with black mottling. Lower back white, and tail is white with black barring. Head and neck white and pale gray with black streaking. White underparts with black speckles on breast and flanks. Straight, thin black bill, and yellow-green legs.
Whimbrel (Palau)
Whimbrel (Palau): This large long-legged sandpiper has brown and white mottled upperparts and buff underparts with faint streaks on sides and flanks. It has a white-striped black crown. Neck is long and streaked; long black decurved bill, blue-gray legs and feet. Tail is brown and black barred, rump and lower back is white. Diet includes insects and worms. Direct flight with strong fast wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Pin-tailed Snipe
Pin-tailed Snipe: Large, chunky, cryptically colored shorebird. Upperparts complexly mottled tan, brown, and black. Tail rufous. Long gray-green bill, dark brown tip. Legs, feet are gray-green. Feeds on insects, larvae, worms, seeds. Flushes in a zigzag pattern. Direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Swinhoe's Snipe
Swinhoe's Snipe: Small to medium shorebird with brown and black mottled back and wings, white stripes on back. White stripe on black-brown crown, black-brown line through eye and mark below eye. Mottling on breast, white belly. Black-brown bars on flanks. Long, straight, black-brown bill with green-yellow base. Sexes and juvenile similar.
Common Snipe
Common Snipe: Longest-billed of all snipes, best identified by broad white stripe at base of underwing. Upperparts cryptically colored with brown and yellow-brown streaks of many different shades. Underparts white but strongly suffused with orange wash, heavily barred and streaked with dark brown.
Eurasian Curlew
Eurasian Curlew: Large curlew, strongly marked underparts lack rich orange or buff tones that other long billed curlews often show. Brown upperparts. Large, decurved bill, black upper mandible, lower mandible has pink base. In flight it shows prominent white lower back, rump, and underwing linings.
Broad-billed Sandpiper
Broad-billed Sandpiper: Small sandpiper with a long bill that curves down at the tip. Pale-edged dark brown feathers on upperparts give a scaled appearance; back shows two pale streaks in flight; underparts are white with dark spots on breast and neck. Head has dark cap and forked white eyebrows.
Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper: Eurasian counterpart to the Spotted Sandpiper; has dusky gray upperparts, heavily streaked breast, and sparkling white underparts. Best distinguished by its habit of standing in a semi-crouch and bobbing back and forth. Flies low over water with stiff shallow wing beats and glides.
Spoon-billed Sandpiper
Spoon-billed Sandpiper: Small sandpiper, scaled brown and black upperparts, red-brown wash on face, neck, spotted upper breast, white underparts. Most distinguishing characteristic is the extraordinarily flared tip on its black bill. Black legs, feet. Flight is swift and direct on rapid wing beats.
Temminck's Stint
Temminck's Stint: Small sandpiper with gray-brown upperparts and faint breast band and white underparts. Dark tail is long with white outer feathers; upperwings are gray-brown and have dark markings. Flight is swift and direct with rapid wing beats. Has a distictive, hovering display flight.
Great Knot
Great Knot: Medium sandpiper with brown upperparts showing dark spots on crown and back, and white underparts with black spots on breast and sides. Bill is short and black. Wings show bright patch of orange-brown on coverts. Legs and feet are gray-green. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Green Sandpiper
Green Sandpiper: Medium sandpiper with pale-spotted, dark gray-brown back and rump, white underparts with dark streaks on neck, upper breast, sides. Head is dark and eye-ring is white. Tail is white with fine dark spotting at tip. Bill, legs, feet are olive-green. Swift flight with rapid wing beats.
Red Knot
Red Knot: This medium-sized sandpiper has black, brown and gray scaled upperparts, a red-brown face, neck, breast and sides, and a white lower belly. It has a slightly curved black bill. The wings show white bars in flight. Diet includes insects, larvae, mollusks and crabs. It has a swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Buff-breasted Sandpiper: This medium-sized sandpiper has a buff wash over the entire body except for the white vent. It has black-spotted and streaked upperparts, slightly scaled underparts, a white eye ring, black bill and yellow legs. It feeds mostly on insects. It has a swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. It shows white wing linings in flight. The sexes are similar.
White-rumped Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper: Small sandpiper, brown and black scaled upperparts, distinct white rump. Neck and upper breast are white with brown streaks. Streaked head has white eyebrows. Thin white stripes on dark wings visible in flight. Tail is rounded and black. Dark legs and feet.
Greater Yellowlegs
Greater Yellowlegs: This large sandpiper has mottled brown, gray and white upperparts. The underparts are white with dark streaks and spots. The bill is slightly upturned and the legs are long and yellow. Its long barred tail and white rump are conspicuous in flight. It feeds on insects, insect larvae and small fish. It has a swift direct flight, sometimes at great heights. Sexes are similar.
Long-billed Curlew
Long-billed Curlew: Very large sandpiper with brown mottled upperparts, buff-brown underparts with dark streaks and spots. Bill is very long, decurved. Cinnamon-brown underwings visible in flight. Feeds by probing mud with bill or dunking head under water. Direct flight, steady, strong wing beats.
Stilt Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper: This medium-sized sandpiper has gray-brown upperparts, white rump, heavily barred white underparts, dark cap, white eyebrows and brown ear patches. It has a long, black bill that curves down at the tip and long gray-green legs. It has a powerful, direct flight on long, rapidly beating wings. Sexes are similar.
Solitary Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper: This medium-sized sandpiper has pale-spotted, dark brown back and rump, white underparts with streaks on neck and sides, dark head and a bold white eyering. It has a black tail with conspicuous black-and-white barred edges; olive-green bill, legs and feet. Feeds on insects and insect larvae, spiders, worms and tadpoles. Direct flight is light and buoyant. Sexes are similar.
Upland Sandpiper
Upland Sandpiper: Large bird, dark-spotted, brown upperparts, black rump. White chin, neck, throat. Breast and sides streaked with dark chevrons, white belly. Dark cap, white eye-rings. Bill is thin, olive-brown, decurved at tip. Wedge-shaped tail has dark center and barred edges visible in flight.
Terek Sandpiper
Terek Sandpiper: Medium-sized sandpiper with lightly spotted gray upperparts, white underparts, and gray wash on upper breast. Eyestripes are dark. Bill is long, black with orange at the base and curved upward. Legs are relatively short and bright orange. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Spotted Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper: This medium-sized sandpiper has olive-brown upperparts, white underparts with bold black spots, white eyebrow, barred tail and dull yellow legs. Wings have white stripes visible in flight. Low direct flight; wings flap in shallow arcs, producing clipped, stiff wing beats on drooping wings. Feeds mainly on small invertebrates such as midges and mayflies. Sexes are similar.
Western Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper: This small sandpiper has chestnut-brown, scaled upperparts, white underparts dotted with rows of dark chevrons, streaked head with brown wash on face, dark bill with decurved tip, thin white stripes visible on dark wings in flight, black legs and feet, and partial webbing between toes. Eats mostly flies and beetles. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Black Turnstone
Black Turnstone: Medium sandpiper, scaled black upperparts, white spot between eye and bill, black breast with white speckles on sides, and white belly. Short, dark bill slightly upturned. Back, wings, and rump display a dramatic black-and-white pattern in flight. Swift flight on rapid wing beats.
Sanderling
Sanderling: This medium-sized sandpiper has dark-spotted, rufous upperparts and breast, white underparts and black bill, legs and feet. Wings have conspicuous white stripes visible in flight. Feeds on crustaceans, mollusks, isopods, worms, plants and insects. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Short-billed Dowitcher
Short-billed Dowitcher: This large sandpiper has mottled gray, black, brown and red-brown upperparts, white rump, red-brown underparts with spots and bars, a long, straight dark bill and long, dark yellow-green legs. East and west coast birds are heavier barred and spotted, paler underparts and often show white bellies. Diet includes insects and crustaceans. Strong direct flight. Sexes similar.
Marbled Godwit
Marbled Godwit: This large sandpiper has black-marked, dark brown upperparts, and lightly barred, chestnut-brown underparts. It has a long pink bill with a black tip that is slightly upcurved. Its pale brown under wings are visible in flight. Feeds on crustaceans, mollusks, worms, insects, seeds and berries. It has a swift and direct flight. Sexes similar, but male is smaller with a brighter bill base.
Willet
Willet: This large sandpiper has mottled gray-brown upperparts, white rump and lightly streaked and barred white underparts, white tail with dark brown tip, and blue-gray leg. Broad white stripes on black wings are visible in flight. Feeds on mollusks, crustaceans, insects and small fish. Flight is short and low, alternating rapid wing beats with glides. Sexes are similar.
Dunlin
Dunlin: This is a medium-sized bird with black-streaked, red-brown upperparts, a black belly patch and a streaked breast. The black bill is long and slightly decurved. The legs and feet are black. It wades in shallows and uses its bill to probe and pick up food. The diet includes marine worms, crustaceans and mollusks. It has a swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. The sexes are similar.
Jack Snipe
Jack Snipe: Medium, stocky sandpiper, mottled brown upperparts, paler underparts. Eyestripe is dark. Yellow stripes on back are visible in flight. Eats mollusks, insects, larvae, worms and seeds. Weak flight with rapid, shallow wing beats.
Lesser Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs: This large sandpiper has gray and black mottled upperparts, white underparts, and streaked upper breast and sides. The bill is straight and uniformly dark gray. The white lower rump and dark-barred tail are visible in flight. The legs are long and yellow. It feeds on aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates. It has a swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Curlew Sandpiper
Curlew Sandpiper: This is a medium-sized sandpiper with mottled rufous, white and black upperparts. The head, neck and breast are a rich rufous, while vent, under tail coverts and underwings are white. It has a long black bill that is slightly decurved, and black legs and feet. It mainly feeds on insects and other small invertebrates. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Hudsonian Godwit
Hudsonian Godwit: Large sandpiper with white-scaled, brown-black upperparts, black-barred chestnut-brown underparts. Long bill, slightly upcurved and pink with black tip. White rump, white wing-bar, black underwings visible in flight. Legs and feet are blue-gray. Swift, powerful undulating flight.
Long-toed Stint
Long-toed Stint: Medium sandpiper, scaled, brown, black and rufous upperparts, white-sided rump, white underparts, black-spotted sides, upper breast. Head has brown crown, white eyebrows. Dark decurved bill. Wings have white bars visible in flight. White tail has black central stripe, gray edges.
Pectoral Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper: This medium-sized sandpiper has scaled, dark brown upperparts, heavily streaked brown breast, plain white belly and eye ring, dark brown crown, faint wing-bar and black rump with white edges that are visible in flight. Primarily feeds on arthropods and other invertebrates. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. Zigzag pattern when flushed. Sexes are similar.
Little Stint
Little Stint: This medium-sized sandpiper has scaled-brown upperparts and white underparts. The face, neck and breast are rust-brown with black spots. The back has white lines that form a V-pattern in flight. It has a black bill, legs and feet. It feeds by pecking at the surface and probing mud with its bill for small invertebrates. It has a direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Long-billed Dowitcher
Long-billed Dowitcher: This large, stocky sandpiper has dark, mottled upperparts, dark cap and eye stripe, short white eyebrow, and red-brown underparts with lightly barred flanks. The bill is long, dark and dagger-like, and the legs and feet are yellow-green. It feeds on insects and insect larvae, mollusks, crustaceans and marine worms. Swift direct flight, rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Rock Sandpiper
Rock Sandpiper: Medium sandpiper, scaled gray-brown and reddish-brown upperparts, dark crown, heavily streaked white underparts with dark breast patch. Dark bill is slightly decurved. Wings have large white stripes visible in flight. Tail has dark central stripe above and is white below. Black legs.
Least Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper: This small sandpiper has brown-scaled upperparts and a rust-brown crown. The breast and throat are dark-spotted; belly, under tail are white. The wings have thin white stripes visible in flight. The black line on the rump extends onto the tail. The legs and feet are yellow-green. It feeds mostly on insects. It has a swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper: This medium-sized sandpiper has dark brown upperparts and white underparts with faint olive-brown streaks on breast and sides. It has a rufous crown, white eye ring and dark brown wings. The tail is dark brown and pointed in flight. Feeds primarily on mosquito larvae but also takes mollusks and crustaceans. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. Sexes are similar.
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper: This small sandpiper has scaled gray-brown upperparts, white underparts and fine streaks on the breast and sides. It has a short, stout, straight black bill and black legs and feet. It feeds on insects, worms, small mollusks and crustaceans. Swift flight on rapidly beating wings. Sexes are similar.
Little Curlew
Little Curlew: Medium curlew, brown-streaked upperparts, white throat, dark-streaked gray breast, and white belly. Head has brown crown. Bill is short and slightly down-curved. Legs and feet are Pale pink to gray. Forages in grassy fields. Bouyant direct flight with steady, rapid wing beats.
Bar-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit: This large shorebird has a long upcurved bill, scaled brown, black and gray mottled upperparts and pale red-brown underparts. The tail is white with dark bars and the legs and feet are dark gray. It has a direct flight with steady wing beats. The female is larger than the male with a longer bill and has a little red-brown color. It feeds on mollusks, worms and aquatic insects.
Bristle-thighed Curlew
Bristle-thighed Curlew: This large brown-streaked shorebird has a long decurved bill. The eye-line is dark, the eyebrow is white, and the rump is cinnamon-brown. The bristle-like feathers at the base of the legs are subtle. The legs and feet are blue-gray. It has a strong, swift direct flight. It feeds on crustaceans and small fish. Sexes are similar, though females are larger and longer billed.
Baird's Sandpiper
Baird's Sandpiper: This medium-sized bird has scaled gray-brown upperparts, white underparts and a dark-spotted gray-brown breast. The crown, face and neck are buff with fine brown streaks. It has a white rump with a dark central stripe and black legs and feet. Feeds on insects and spiders. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats; long wings allow them to make long flights. Sexes are similar.