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      Whatbird Forums Rules   01/08/17

      'Help Me Identify a Bird' rules: When posting a new thread, please: 1. Read the FAQ and forum rules before posting 2. Include the location in your Post when seeking ID 3. Include the date of the sighting 4. Provide a photo or detailed description of the bird Forum rules: By posting in the WhatBird forums you agree to the following board rules: 1. You will be tolerant and respectful of your fellow members 2. You will not spam 3. You will not post sexually explicit, vulgar or racist material 4. You will not advertise or sell products 5. You will not discuss illegal activities 6. You will keep topics of religion and politics to a bare minimum 7. You will not take advantage of chat to break any of the above rules. 8. Members will not discuss homosexuality nor make any comments about others' sexuality. Breaking any of these rules may result in a suspension or a permanent ban from the forums!! Furthermore, anyone who causes continuous dissent and disarray in the forums will be banned as seen fit by the forum moderators under the pretense of "trolling." Gallery photos: Regarding photos in the Whatbird gallery, please keep in mind that the copyright belongs to the person who took the photo. So please do not use any of the Gallery photos without requesting permission from the photographer. Forum Photos: If you use photos other than your own, please place a link to the referenced photo and do not post other photographer's work directly.
    • Aveschapines

      Found a baby bird or a sick or injured bird?   07/11/17

      Here is a short article with advice for what to do if you find a baby bird or one that appears to be sick or injured. Bird rescue article Please feel free to post here if you have questions or need more help.
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Shyanni

Please confirm ID for me

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I think this is a Semi-palmated Sandpiper, which would be a lifer for me. I'm not familiar with the species. Please explain what the identifying field markings are, compared to a Least or a Western, which both were also feeding in this area.

 

SemiPalmSandpiper.jpg

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I think this is a Western Sandpiper, actually. The distinct contrast between the very gray coverts and those beautiful rufous scapulars really doesn't fit Semipalmated. They should be more uniform above and a bit darker on the chest. Least Sandpiper would be darker above, often with quite a bit of rufous, and duskier on the breast as well. A Least would also have yellow or greenish legs, but that's a tricky thing to judge sometimes, especially when they're feeding in mud. 

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Okay, thanks, guys. There were a lot of Westerns in the group, but this one just seemed duller and greyer, the rufous much softer than the others, so I was hoping. Maybe migration time will bring me a Semipalmated. And a Surfbird - another one the manual says is here that I've never seen.

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Surfbirds breed in alpine tundra in Alaska and Canada -- they come down to Vancouver, Washington, etc. in late July and early August. Don't look for them where you find Western Sandpipers, though -- they prefer rocky coastlines.

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Would this be a juvenile Western due to the uniform plumage (not molting) and also the lack of specks going down the flanks and belly?

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Yes, it's a juvenile. I don't know how important the lack of flank markings is in aging these guys, but the lack of molt (and the nice, crisp plumage) says juvenile. Generally speaking, molt is often more useful for aging birds than the color and pattern.

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