Solitary Sandpiper Identification

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The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    A small, slender shorebird with a somewhat long neck and long bill. It has fairly long wings and legs.

    Relative Size

    Slightly larger than a Spotted Sandpiper, smaller than a Lesser Yellowlegs.

    Relative Sizerobin sizedrobin-sized
    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 7.5-9.1 in (19-23 cm)
      • Weight: 1.1-2.3 oz (31.1-65.1 g)
      • Wingspan: 21.6-22.4 in (55-57 cm)

Regional Differences

Solitary Sandpiper has two subspecies, solitaria, which breeds and migrates east of the Rocky Mountains, and cinnamomea, which breeds and migrates west of the Rockies. They are best identified in fresh plumage by tail pattern, loral pattern, and colors of their upperparts. Cinnamomea is larger, with narrow white bars on the tail; solitaria has broad bars. The two subspecies winter in different parts of Central and South America.

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