Friday, May 6, 2011

Bird a Day: Solitary Sandpiper

The Solitary Sandpiper, so named because of its asocial behavior when it comes to sandpipers.  Most sandpipers travel and forage in flocks, but this species is one of a few that travels and feeds on its own.  Usually found along the edges of ponds and streams instead of mudflats and marshes like most sandpipers.  These guys just go against the grain and do it differently than the rest of their kind, even when it comes to nesting.  Solitary Sandpipers lay their eggs in the old nests of other songbirds like the American Robin, Rusty Blackbird, and Eastern Kingbird.  The male finds a nest and the female fixes it up by realigning the material and structure.  The young are thought to jump from the nest at a young age and learn to forage on their own without the help of their parents.  They do not breed in Kentucky however and are just seen during migration.

Solitary Sandpiper

Solitary Sandpiper

Solitary Sandpiper

Solitary Sandpipers are medium sized with long legs, a mottled back, a bold white eye ring, and a distinctly barred tail.  They frequently bob their heads back and forth when foraging. 


Pat Ulrich said...

Lovely shots of this delightful bird, great light in the second two frames as well!

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