Stilt Sandpiper (Micropalama himantopus)

Range: The Americas. Breeds on moist and dry tundra. Frequents freshwater and brackish pools during migration. Tends to wade or swim in deeper water than other sandpipers, sometimes as small groups.

Adults, pre-basic molt

Fig. 1. Adults in pre-basic molt are readily identified by the combination of strong flank barring, rusty crown and ear-coverts and delicate bill. The legs are dull greenish-yellow. When feeding in belly deep water, adult Stilts can sometimes be hard to spot amongst dowitchers which share the rusty colors on the head and complex pattering across the upperparts.

Fig. 2. The strong barring on the flanks and belly extends up onto the undertail coverts.

Fig. 3. On this bird, several of median wingcoverts appear fresh (or just heavily abraded?).

Fig. 4. The bird on the left has a darker mantle and crown than the bird on the right.

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All text and images copyright of Angus Wilson© 2002