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SHOREBIRDS

Most Shorebirds walk along shores probing for food with their thin sensitive bills. Bill length varies considerably so differing species can work the same shore and obtain different food supplies. Shorebirds include sandpipers, godwits, stilts, oystercatchers, plovers, and many more. Shorebirds belong to the Charadriiformes order which also includes the Gulls and Allies.
Note: the term Shorebirds is used in the Americas; elsewhere "waders" is used. We will reserve "waders" for herons and allies.

Some Charadriiformes families:
Burhinidae: thick-knees; Charadriidae: small plovers, lapwings; Glareolidae: courses, pratincoles; Haematopodidae: oystercatchers
Jacanidae: jacanas; Recurvirostridae: avocets, stilts; Scolopacidae: small bill sandpipers, large bill sandpipers

Large bill Sandpipers and Allies

Order Charadriiformes    Family Scolopacidae

Sandpipers include many species called sandpipers, as well as those called by names such as curlew and snipe. They have long bodies and legs, and narrow wings. Most species have a narrow bill, but otherwise the form and length are quite variable. The bills are sensitive, allowing the birds to feel the mud and sand as they probe for food. They generally have dull plumage, with cryptic brown, gray, or streaked patterns, although some display brighter colours during the breeding season. Most species nest in open areas, and defend their territories with aerial displays. The nest itself is a simple scrape in the ground, in which the bird typically lays three or four eggs.


Genus Actitis
Their habitat is near fresh water.

Sandpiper, Common Actitis hypoleucos   Found: North America (rarely), Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia
The Common Sandpiper has grayish-brown upperparts and throat, white underparts, faint eye-line, faint white "eyebrow", yellowish legs and feet, and a bill with a pale base and dark tip.
Similar to: Spotted Sandpiper. Their ranges rarely overlap. Common Sandpipers have darker legs than Spotted Sandpipers.
Similar to: Temminck's Stint. Nonbreeding plumage of Common Sandpiper and Temminck's Stint are similar. Temminck's Stint is smaller.
Image by: 1) Juan Emilio   2) Steve Garvie  3) Dick Daniels - Madagascar    4) Cristiano Crolle - Racconigi, Italy  5, 6) Dick Daniels - Scotland


Sandpiper, Spotted Actitis macularia   Found: The Americas
The Spotted Sandpiper has brown upperparts, white underparts, short yellowish legs, orange bill with a dark tip. Breeding birds have spots on the underparts.
Similar to: Common Sandpiper. Their ranges rarely overlap. Common Sandpipers have darker legs than Spotted Sandpipers.
Image by: 1) Pat and Keith Taylor   2, 3) Alan D Wilson - Richmond, British Columbia   4) Winnu   5) Dick Daniels - Maine  6) Alan - La Jolla Shores Beach (Near Scripp's Pier), La Jolla, California   7) Dick - North Carolina  8) Dick - Jamaica  9) Dick - Puerto Rico  10) Dick - Florida  11) Dick - Panama
1) Juvenile  2, 3, 4) Breeding



Genus Bartramia - 1 species

Sandpiper, Upland  Bartramia longicauda Found: The Americas
The Upland Sandpiper has marbled black and brown back; similarly for the wings, breast, and flanks, It has white belly, white eye-ring,long yellow legs.
Similar to: Short-billed Dowitcher, Lesser Yellowlegs. Upland Sandpiper are found around grassy environments unlike other similar birds that are usually found around water.
Image by: 1)  Pesayo   2) Johnath - Ontario, Canada  3) Dario Niz - Uruguay  4)  Claudio Timm



Genus Coenocorypha
The New Zealand Snipes are only found on islands around New Zealand. It is unclear how closely related they are to the Gallinago snipes.

Snipe,_Chatham_Islands  Coenocorypha pusilla  Found: Chatham Islands of New Zealand
Image by: 1) Walter_Buller 2) jan_veenstra


Snipe,_Snares_Island  Coenocorypha huegeli Found: Snares Islands (subantarctic islands south of New Zealand).
The Snares Island Snipe has bars, stripes and spots in shades of brown ranging from buffy-white to nearly black, with longitudinal stripes on the face and crown.Males (females) have yellow (olive) colored legs.
Image by: 1) Jake_Osborne


Snipe, Subantarctic  also  Aukland Snipe  Coenocorypha aucklandica  Found: New Zealand
Image by: 1) Charles Hullmandel   2) Richard Scohfield




Genus Gallinago
The True Snipes have long bills and camouflage coloring, See also the New Zealand Snipes and Painted Snipes.

Snipe, African  Gallinago nigripennis  Found: Africa
The African Snipe has mottled brown upperparts with light lines down the back; dark stripe from rear of eye with white stripes above and below; white belly with some brown barring on flanks but never on belly; pinkish-brown long bill; yellow-olive to greenish-gray legs.
Image by: 1) Ian White  2) Paul Bernard   3) Charles  Naude


Snipe, Andean  Gallinago jamesoni  Found: Andes of South America
The Andean Snipe has mainly brown plumage streaked and patterned with brown and buff; gold edges to feathers form lines down the back; white belly with brown barring; horn-colored bill; yellowish-green legs.
Image by: Mary Sue2010


Snipe, Common Gallinago gallinago   Found: North America (Alaska), South America (northwest), Europe, Asia, Africa Indonesia
The Common Snipe has short greenish-gray legs, very long straight dark bill, mottled brown body, dark stripe through the eye with light stripes above and below.
Similar to South American Snipe. It is difficult to distinguish the South American Snipe in the field from wintering Common Snipe, although they can be separated in the hand.
Similar to Wilson's Snipe. Wilson's and the Common Snipe were previously considered to be one species. Common Snipes usually have 7 pairs of tail feathers while Wilson Snipes have 8 pairs. The easist way to tell them apart is by location: Common are predominately Old World and Wilson's are predominately New World.
Image by: 1) Marek Szczepanek  2) sjahanmi - dubai   3) Davis Kwan - Hong Kong  4) Cristiano Crolle - Racconigi, Italy


Snipe, Fuegian  Gallinago stricklandii  Found: southern South America
The Fuegian Snipe has mottled brown upperparts with ill-defined stripes; buff belly with brown barring on flanks; horn-colored bill; yellowish-green feet.
Image by: 1) Chales Hullmangel


Snipe, Giant  Gallinago undulata  Found: South America
Image by: 1) Nicholas le Jeune  2) Ciro Albano


Snipe, Great  Gallinago media  Found: Europe, Asia, Africa
The Great Snipe has mottled brown upperparts; dark stripe through eye; white supercilium.
Image by: 1) German enc  2) David Carr


Snipe, Imperial  Gallinago imperialis  Found: Andes of South America
The Imperial Snipe has mainly rufous plumage; white belly with heavy brown barrng; long gray bill; gray legs.
Image by: 1) Joseph Smit


Snipe, Latham's  Gallinago hardwickiFound: Asia, Australasia
The Latham's Snipe has mottled brown, black and buff upperparts; blurry light brown streaks on breast; white belly.
Similar to; Pin-tailed Snipe. Latham's Snipe has longer bill than Pin-tailed Snipe.
Similar to: Swinhoe's Snipe. Latham's Snipe has blurry light brown streaks on breast; Swinhe's Snipe has small dark brown dots on breast.
Image by: 1) Jason Girvan - Australia  2) Oystercatcher - Canberra  3) Mdekool - Australia  


Snipe,_Madsgascar Gallinago macrodactyla  Found: Madagascar
The Madagascar Snipe has upperparts, head and neck streaked and patterned with bold dark brown stripes and gold edges to the feathers forming lines down its back;; white belly with some brown barring (not on belly); yellowish-olive to greenish-gray legs.
Image by: 1) Jerry_Oldenettel


Snipe, Noble  Gallinago nobilis  Found: South America
The Noble Snipe has mottled brown upperparts; dark stripe through the eye with light stripes above and below; white belly with brown barring on flanks.
Image by: 1) Joseph Smit  2) Columbia Travel


Snipe, Pin-tailed  Gallinago stenura  Found: Asia, Africa, Indonesia
The Pin-tailed Snipe has mottled brown upperparts with cream lines down the back; streaked buff breast; white belly; dark eye-line with white stripes above and below; greenish-gray legs.
Similar to; Latham's Snipe. Latham's Snipe has longer bill than Pin-tailed Snipe.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya   2) JJ Harrison  3) sfitzgerarld86  - Indonesia  4) Hiyashi Haka


Snipe,_Puna Gallinago andina  Found: Argentina, Chile, Peru
The Puna Snipe has upperparts, head and neck streaked and patterned with warm brown and buff, and the gold edges to the feathers form lines down its back; white belly with brown barring; yellow legs.
Image by: 1) Amy_McAndrews


Snipe,_Solitary Gallinago solitaria  Found: eastern Asia
The Solitary Snipe has streaked and patterned upperparts, head, and neck with medium brown stripes and whitish edges to the feathers forming lines down its back; whitish face; ginger-brown breast; white belly with brown barring on flanks; brown and black long straight bill.
Image by: 1) ken
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Snipe, South American  Gallinago paraguaiae  Found: South America
The South American Snipe has short greenish-gray legs, very long straight dark bill, mottled brown body, dark stripe through the eye with light stripes above and below it.
Similar to Common Snipe. It is difficult to distinguish the South American Snipe in the field from wintering Common Snipe, although they can be separated in the hand.
Image by: 1, 2) Cláudio Timm - Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil


Snipe, Swinhoe's  also Chinese Snipe  Gallinago megala  Found: Asia, Australasia
The Swinhoe's Snipe has mottled brown, black and buff upperparts; small dark brown dots on breast; white belly.
Similar to: Latham's Snipe. Latham's Snipe has blurry light brown streaks on breast; Swinhe's Snipe has small dark brown dots on breast.
Image by: 1) Hiyashi Haka


Snipe, Wilson's  Gallinago delicata  Found: The Americas, Europe (vagrant)
The Wilson's Snipe has short greenish-gray legs, very long straight dark bill, mottled brown body, dark stripe through the eye with light stripes above and below it.
Similar to American Woodcock. American Woodcock and Wilson's Snipe have similar body structure, but are quite different in markings.
Similar to: Common Snipe. Wilson's and the Common Snipe were previously considered to be one species. Common Snipes usually have 7 pairs of tail feathers while Wilson Snipes have 8 pairs. The easist way to tell them apart is by location: Common are predominately Old World and Wilson's are predominately New World.
Image by: 1) Sean Breazeal - Central Utah     2, 3, 4)  Alan D Wilson -Near Burns, Oregon   5) Linda Westerinen - Colusa Reserve, California  6) Dick Daniels - Ash, North Carolina  7) Dick - Ash



Snipe, Wood  Gallinago nemoricola  Found: Asia
Image by: 1) Herbert  2) Tang Jun



Genus Limnodromus
The dowitchers are medium-sized long-billed wading birds. They resemble godwits in body and bill shape, but are much shorter legged.
Similar to: Curlews. Curlews have down-curved bill; Dowitchers have straight bills.
Similar to: Godwits. Godwits have darker legs than Dowitchers.

Dowitcher, Asian  Limnodromus semipalmatus  Found: Asia, Australasia >
The breeding Asian Dowitcher has brown upperparts; reddish underparts. Nonbreeding has mainly gray plumage.
Similar to: Bar-tailed Godwit. The Bar-tailed Godwit has a "sewing machine" feeding action and yelping call.
Image by: 1) Charles Lam  2) Ainus - Taiwan   3) Changhua Coast Conservation
1) Nonbreeding  2, 3) Nonbreeding


Dowitcher, Long-billed Limnodromus scolopaceus   Found: North America, Asia. Rare: South America, Europe, Africa
When breeding, the Long-billed Dowitcher Adults has dark brown upperparts, light underparts with spotted throat and breast, long straight dark bill, black and white barred tail, yellowish legs. The winter plumage is largely gray.
Similar to: Short-billed Dowitcher. Very difficult to distinguish by appearance; bill length may help but it is not conclusive. Long-billed Dowitcher more likely to be found near fresh water than Short-billed. Voice is best means of identification: Short-billed Dowitcher has a more mellow call.
Image by: 1) Len Blumin - California  2) J N Stuart - New Mexico  3) Rick Leche   4) Maggie Smith - California  5) Winnu - Washington   6) Alan D. Wilson   7) Dick - Sanibel Island, Florida



Dowitcher, Short-billed  Limnodromus griseus  Found: The Americas, Europe (rare)
When breeding, the Short-billed Dowitcher Adults has dark brown upperparts, light underparts with spotted throat and breast, long straight dark bill, black and white barred tail, yellowish legs. The winter plumage is largely gray.
Similar to: Long-billed Dowitcher. Very difficult to distinguish by appearance; bill length may help but it is not conclusive. Long-billed Dowitcher more likely to be found near fresh water than Short-billed. Voice is best means of identification: Short-billed Dowitcher has a more mellow call.
Similar to: Upland Sandpiper. Upland Sandpiper are found around grassy environments unlike other similar birds that are usually found around water.
Image by:  1, 2, 3, 45,  6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14) Dick - Sunset Beach, North Carolina
9, 10, 11) Breeding



Genus Limosa
The godwits are large, long-billed, long-legged and strongly migratory waders of the bird genus Limosa. Their long bills allow them to probe deeply in the sand for aquatic worms and molluscs.
Similar to: Curlews. Curlews have down-curved bill; Godwits have up-curved bill.
Similar to: Dowitchers. Godwits have darker legs than Dowitchers.


Godwit, Bar-tailed  Limosa lapponica   Found: North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia
The Bar-tailed Godwit has mottled gray back, blue-gray legs, very long dark bill with a slight upward curve and pink at the tip. The neck, breast and belly are unbroken brick red in breeding plumage, off white in winter.
Similar to: Asian Dowitcher. The Bar-tailed Godwit has a "sewing machine" feeding action and yelping call.
Similar to: Black-tailed Godwit.  Bar-tailed Godwit has bars on tail, Black-tailed Godwit has black on end of tail. Nonbreeding Black-tailed Godwit has uniform gray upperparts; Bar-tailed Godwit has streaked back.Black-tailed Godwit has white underwing.
Similar to: Hudsonian Godwit.  Bar-tailed Godwit has bars on tail, Hudsonian has black on end of tail. Nonbreeding Hudsonian Godwit has uniform gray upperparts; Bar-tailed Godwit has streaked back. Hudsonian has dark underwing.
Similar to: Marbled Godwit. Marbled Godwit upperparts have more uniformed speckling than other godwits.
Image by: 1) Australia Bill Bouton - California  4, 5) Dick - Australia  3) Oysterctcher - California    6, 7) Tim Bowman, US Fish and Wildlife Service   8) Hillary Chambers - Great Britain  2, 9) Cristiano Crolle - Texel, Holland
1, 2) Juvenile  2 - 5) Nonbreeding or female  5) Bar-tailed Godwit and Dunlin  6, 7) Male breeding  8) shows bar-tail.


Godwit, Black-tailed  Limosa limosa   Found: North America (infrequent), Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia
Similar to: Bar-tailed Godwit.  Bar-tailed Godwit has bars on tail, Black-tailed Godwit has black on end of tail. Nonbreeding Black-tailed Godwit has uniform gray upperparts; Bar-tailed Godwit has streaked back.
Similar to: Hudsonian Godwit. Black-tailed Godwit has white underwing; Hudsonian has dark underwing.
Similar to: Marbled Godwit. Marbled Godwit upperparts have more uniformed speckling than other godwits.
Image by: 1) Ranbir Mahapatra  2) Graham Gavaghan - Great Britain   3) Dick Daniels - Australia    4) Ómar Runólfsson - Iceland  5, 6) Frank Vassen - Poland  7) Hans Hillewaert - Uitkerkse Polders, Belgium  8) Cristiano Crolle - Texel, Holland  
1, 2, 3) Nonbreeding  4 - 8) Breeding  4, 8) shows black tail


Godwit, Hudsonian Limosa haemastica  Found: The Americas, Australia (vagrant)
The Hudsonian Godwit has mottled brown upperparts, chestnut underparts, long pink bill with a slight upward curve and dark at the tip, black tail, white rump, dark legs.
Similar to: Bar-tailed Godwit.  Bar-tailed Godwit has bars on tail, Hudsonian has black on end of tail. Nonbreeding Hudsonian Godwit has uniform gray upperparts; Bar-tailed Godwit has streaked back. Hudsonian has dark underwing.
Similar to: Black-tailed Godwit. Black-tailed Godwit has white underwing; Hudsonian has dark underwing.
Similar to: Marbled Godwit. Marbled Godwit upperparts have more uniformed speckling than other godwits.
Image by: 1) nebirdsplus - Massachusetts 2, 3) Cláudio Timm - Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil  4) Bill Bouton - Manitoba, CA 5) Frank Veronesi - Churchill, CA
1, 2, 3) Nonbreeding  4, 5) Breeding



Godwit, Marbled  Limosa fedoa  Found: The Americas
The Marbled Godwit has dark mottled back, pale brown breast with dark bars, pale brown belly, very long pink bill with a slight upward curve and dark at the tip, long blue-gray legs.
Similar to: Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-tailed Godwit, Hudsonian Godwit. Marbled Godwit upperparts have more uniformed speckling than other godwits.
Image by: 1, 2, 5) Dick Daniels- Monterey, California  3) Dick - Half Moon Bay, CA   4) Dick - Arizona      6) Alan D. Wilson - Huntington Beach, California    7) Len Blumin - Californina  8) Alan D Wilson - Huntington Beach
1 - 5) Nonbreeding  6, 7) Breeding



Genus Lymnocryptes - 1 species

Snipe, Jack  Lymnocryptes minimus  Found: Europe, Asia, Africa
The Jack Snipe has mottled brown upperparts with cream-colored stripes; pale underparts. The head pattern differs from snipes in genus Gallinago in that it has no central crown stripe. It is the smallest snipe.
Image by: 1) Marek Szczepanek  2) Durzan Cirano



Genus Numenius
The curlews have long, slender, downcurved bills and mottled brown plumage.
Similar to: Dowitchers. Curlews have down-curved bill; Dowitchers have straight bill.
Similar to: Godwits. Curlews have down-curved bill; Godwits have up-curved bill.


Curlew also Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata   Found: Europe, Asia
The Eurasian Curlew is mainly grayish brown, with a white back, and a very long curved bill.
Similar to: Whimbrel. The Whimbrel is smaller than the Eurasian Curlew and has a shorter bill.
Image by: 1) AngMoKio - the Stuttgart Zoo  2) MPF - Cresswell Pond, Northumberland, UK    3) Darren Bellerby - Hong Kong Wetland Park, Hong Kong  4) Cristiano Crolle - Racconigi, Italy


Curlew, Bristle-thighed  Numenius tahitiensis  Found: west coast North America and some tropical Pacific islands
The Bristle-thighed Curlew has a spotted brown upperbody, light belly, long bill, bristled feathers at the base of the legs.
Similar to: Whimbrel. The Whimbrel and Bristle-thighed Curlew are about the same size and shape. They both have a pale stipe on the head. The Bristle-thighed Curlew has an unmarked pale belly, the Whimbrel's belly is marked.
Image by: 1) Brian Harry, NPS  2) Kristine Sowl - Alaska   3) USFWS  4) Charlie Westerinen - Half Moon Bay, California
4) Rare to California. Bird in back is a Black Oystercatcher.


Curlew, Eastern also Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis   Found: Asia, Australia, New Zealand
One of the largest curlews and one of the largest curlew bills. Differentiated from other curlews by its plain, unpatterned brown underwing.
Image by: 1, 2, 3, 4) Dick Daniels - Cairns, Australia


Curlew, Little  Numenius minutus  Found: Asia, Australasia
IThe Little Curlew is mainly grayish brown, including the underwings, with a white belly, and a short, for a curlew, curved bill. It has a head pattern like a Whimbrel, with crown and superciliary stripes
Image by: 1) Wayne Cheng  2) Hyashi Haka


Curlew, Long-billed Numenius americanus   Found: North America
The Long-billed Curlew has a very long downwards curved bill, long neck, small head, light cinnamon neck and underparts, brown streaked crown.
Similar to: Whimbrel. Whimbrel has striped head; Long-billed Curlew has no head stripe. Long-billed Curlew has longer bill. The Long-billed Curlew has a buffy breast and belly, versus grayish brown for the Whimbrel.
Image by:    1) John Crotty - California  2) Len Blumin - California  3) Mike Baird - California   4, 5, 6) Dick Daniels - California   7) Charlie Westerinen - Texas 



Curlew, Slender-billed  Numenius tenuirostris  Found: Northern Africa
The Slender-billed Curlew was last seen in 2007 and may now be extinct.
Image by: 1) Gould and Lear


Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus   Found: The Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia
The Whimbrel is mainly grayish brown. It has a long curved bill with a kink rather than a smooth curve. It also has a central crown stripe and strong supercilia.
Similar to: Bristle-thighed Curlew. The Whimbrel and Bristle-thighed Curlew are about the same size and shape. They both have a pale stipe on the head. The Bristle-thighed Curlew has an unmarked pale belly, the Whimbrel's belly is marked.
Similar to: Eurasian Curlew. The Whimbrel is smaller than the Eurasian Curlew and has a shorter bill.
Similar to: Long-billed Curlew. Whimbrel has striped head; Long-billed Curlew has no head stripe. Long-billed Curlew has longer bill. The Long-billed Curlew has a buffy breast and belly, versus grayish brown for the Whimbrel.
Image by:  1, 2, 3) Dick Daniels - Half Moon Bay, California  4) Dick - Galapagos Islands   5) Dick - Panama  5, 6) Dick - Madagascar  8) Elaine R. Wilson - La Jolla, California



Genus Phalaropus
Phalaropes are unusual amongst shorebirds in that they are pelagic - they spend a great deal of their lives outside the breeding season well out to sea. Phalaropes are unusually salt-loving and feed in great numbers in saline lakes.

Phalarope, Red Phalaropus fulicarius Found: The Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa
The Red Phalarope has lobed toes, straight bill. The breeding bird has a yellow bill tipped with black. The breeding female has dark brown and black above, red underparts, white cheek patches. The breeding male is a duller version of the female. In winter the birds have gray above, white below, black bill. Young birds are light gray and brown above, with buff underparts.
Similar to: Red-necked Phalarope. Nonbreeding Red Phalarope has a unstreaked gray back; nonbreeding Red-necked Phalarope has streaked gray back. Breeding Red Phalarope has red throat; breeding Red-necked Phalarope has white throat.
Image by: 1) Billy Liar - West Virginia   2) Lee Karney    3) Maggie Smith   4) 5) Mke Baird - Morro Bay, California 6) Andrei Taranchenko - Alaska
1, 2, 3) Nonbreeding  4) Breeding female  5, 6) Breeding male



Phalarope, Red-necked  Phalaropus lobatus   Found: The Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa
The Red-necked Phalarope has lobed toes, straight fine black bill. The breeding female has dark gray above, red neck and upper breast, black face, white throat. The breeding male is a duller version of the female. In winter the birds have gray above, white below. Young birds are gray and brown above, with buff underparts and a black patch through the eye.
Image by: 1, 2) Dick Daniels - Seward, Alaska  3) Omar Runolfsson - Iceland  4) Ainus   5, 8) Mike Baird - California   6, 9) Alan D Wilson - Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon    7) USFWS
1, 2) Juvenile  3, 4) Nonbreeding  5) Eclipse female  7) Breeding female  9) Breeding Male




Phalarope, Wilson's Phalaropus tricolor   Found: The Americas, Europe
The Wilson's Phalarope has lobed toes, straight fine black bill. The breeding female has gray and brown above, white underparts, reddish neck, reddish flank patches. The breeding male is a duller version of the female, with a brown back, and the reddish patches reduced or absent.
Similar to: Stilt Sandpiper. Nonbreeding Stilt Sandpipers and nonbreeding Wilson's Phalarope are similar. Wilson's Phalarope has white underparts; Stilt Sandpiper has gray breast.
Image by:   1) J N Stuart   2) Amy McAndrews - Mexico  3) Ken Schneider  - California   4) Dick Daniels - Puno, Peru     5) Dominic Sherony   6) Alan D. Wilson - Oregon  7) Jerry Oldenettel - New Mexico  8) Jason Crotty - California
1) Juvenile 2) Juvenile eclipse  3, 4) Nonbreeding  5, 6) Female breeding  7, 8) Male breeding 



Genus Scolopax
Woodcocks have stocky bodies, cryptic brown and blackish plumage and long slender bills. Their eyes are located on the sides of their heads, which gives them nearly 360° vision. Unlike in most birds, the tip of the bill's upper mandible is flexible.As their common name implies, the woodcocks are woodland birds. They feed at night or in the evenings, searching for invertebrates in soft ground with their long bills. This habit and their unobtrusive plumage makes it difficult to see them when they are resting in the day.

Woodcock, Amami   Scolopax mira  Found: Amami Islands of south Japan
Image by: 1) Momtarou2012  2) Daniel Smith


Woodcock, American  Scolopax minor   Found: east North America
The American Woodcock is found in forest undergrowth. It has a long bill, short tail.
Similar to: Wilson's Snipe. American Woodcock and Wilson's Snipe have similar body structure, but are quite different in markings.
Image by: 1) Phil Brown - Massachuetts  2) Paco Lyptic - Minnesota  3) Jerry Oldenettel - Michigan  4) Audrey  5) Dick Daniels - New Hampshire


Woodcock,_Bukidnon  Scolopax bukidnonensis  Found: Mindanao and Luzon of the Philippines
The Bukidnon Woodcook has  reddish-brown upperparts  vermiculated with black and broadly barred; paler  and buffer underparts.
Image by: 1) Bram_Demeulemeester


Woodcock, Eurasian  Scolopax rusticola  Found: temperate to subarctic Eurasia
The Eurasian Woodcook has reddish-brown upperparts; buff colored underparts.
Image by: 1) Ronald Stabke  2) Sylvia Duckworth


Woodcock,_Javan  Scolopax saturata  Found: Sumatra and western Java (Indonesia)
Image by: 1) Dave_Curtis


Woodcock,_Moluccan  Scolopax rochussenii  Found: small islands in North Maluku of Indonesia
The Moluccan Woodcock has black barred upperparts; orange-buff underparts.
Image by: 1) Paulo_Alves


Woodcock,_New_Guinea  Scolopax rosenbergii  Found: New Guinea
The New Guinea Woodcook has mainly dark plumage; white belly patch.
Image by: 1, 2) Katerina_Tvardikova


Woodcock,_Sulawesi  Scolopax celebensis  Found: Sulawesi (Indonesia)
The Sulawesi Wookcook has darker plumage than the Eurasian Woodcook and also has some small reddish spots.
Image by: 1) Salvatore Chamu



Genus Tringa
They are mainly freshwater or marsh birds and often have brightly colored legs. They tend to breed in Northern Hemisphere.

Greenshank, Common Tringa nebularia   Found: North America (rare), Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand
The common Greenshank has long greenish legs; slender upturned bill; white eye-ring. It is brown in breeding plumagel, gray-brown otherwise. They show a white wedge on the back in flight.
Similar to: Greater Yellowlegs. Common Greenshank have green legs; Greater Yellowlegs have yellow legs.
Similar to: Marsh Sandpiper. Common Greenshank has slender upturned bill; Marsh Sandpiper has broader and straighter bill.
Similar to: Spotted Redshank. Common Greenshank have green legs; Spotted Redshank have red legs.
Image by: 1) Ian White - Botswana  2) JJ Harrison - Tasmania, Australia  3) Alastair Rae   4, 5) Dick Daniels - Australia  6) J Dietrich  7, 8) Dick - Madagascar


Greenshank, Nordmann's   also  Spotted Greenshank  Tringa guttifer  Found: Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philipinnes
The Nordmann's Greenshank has slightly upturned bill; yellow shortish legs. Breeding has white spots on blackish upperparts; heavily streaked head, upper-neck; blackish cresent spots on lower-neck, breast.
Image by: 1) Joseph Smit   2) Frankie Chu


Redshank, Common  Tringa totanus  Found: Europe, Asia
The Common Redshank has red legs, black-tipped red bill. The breeding bird has marbled brown color. The nonbreeding bird is plain grayish-brown above and whitish below. They show white up the back and on the wings in flight.
Similar to: Spotted Redshank. Spotted Redshank have longer bill than Common Redshank.
Image by: 1) 4028mdk09   2) Andreas Trepte  3) Cristiano Crolle - Texel, Holland  4) Frank  Vassen on the Canary Island of Lanzarote 
1) Nonbreeding  2, 3, 4) Breeding


Redshank, Spotted
  Tringa erythropus  Found: North America (vagrant), Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia
The Spotted Redshank has red legs and bill, shows a white oval on the back in flight. It is black in breeding plumage, and very pale in winter. It . Juveniles are gray-brown finely speckled white above, and have pale, finely barred underparts.
Similar to: Common Greenshank. Common Greenshank have green legs; Spotted Redshank have red legs.
Similar to: Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs in nonbreeding season. Yellowlegs have yellow legs while Spotted Redshanks have red legs.
Similar to: Common Redshank. Spotted Redshank have longer bill than Common Redshank.
Image by:  1) Lip Kee Yap  2) J M Garg - India  3) Charles Lam - Hong Kong
3) Male breeding


Sandpiper, Green  Tringa ochropus  Found: Europe, Asia, Africa
The Green Sandpiper has greenish-brown back and wings; grayish head, breast, white belly; green legs, bill. The back is spotted white to varying extents (most spots when breeding).
Similar to: Solitary Sandpiper. Their ranges rarely overlap.
Similar to: Wood Sandpiper. Wood Sandpiper have a small dull white tail patch in flight; Green Sandpiper have a bright white tail in flight.
Image by: 1, 2) J M Garg - India  3) Edwyn Anderton  4) Dick Daniels - Lake Naivasha, Kenya  5) Cristiano Crolle - Racconigi, Italy


Sandpiper, Marsh Tringa stagnatilis   Found: Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia
The Marsh Sandpiper has a long fine bill; yellowish legs; white eye-rings; white wedge up its back that is visible in flight. It is grayish brown in breeding plumage, paler in winter.
Similar to: Common Greenshank. Common Greenshank has slender upturned bill; Marsh Sandpiper has broader and straighter bill.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels near Johannesburg, South Africa  1) JJ Harrison - Thailand  2) Jason Girvan - Australia  3) Dick - Tanzania    4) Eugene Cheach dec  5) Sergey Yeliseev - Russia  6) Steve Garvie - Spain




Sandpiper, Solitary Tringa solitaria   Found: The Americas
The Solitary Sandpiper is a dumpy wader with a dark green back, grayish head and breast and otherwise white underparts. It is a bird of fresh water, and is often found in restricted sites such as ditches. It does not gather in flocks. [Wikipedia].
Similar to: Green Sandpiper. Their ranges rarely overlap. In flight Solitary Sandpiper have a dark tail center; Green Sandpiper have a white rump in flight.
Similar to: Wood Sandpiper.  Wood Sandpiper have a small dull white tail patch in flight; Solitary Sandpiper have a dark tail.
Image by: 1, 2) Dick Daniels - New Hampshire  3) Dick - North Carolina  4) Tim Lindinbaum - Illinois


Sandpiper, Wood Tringa glareola   Found: North America (rarely), Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia
Wood Sandpiper have a relatively short, thin bill, a brown back, and yellowish legs.
Similar to: Green Sandpiper. Wood Sandpiper have a small dull white tail patch in flight; Green Sandpiper have a bright white tail in flight.
Similar to: Solitary Sandpiper.  Wood Sandpiper have a small dull white tail patch in flight; Solitary Sandpiper have a dark tail.
Image by: 1) Alnus - Taoyuan County, Taiwan  2) JJ Harrison - Thailand   3) Cristiano Crolle - near Novara, Italy   4) Dick Daniels - Tanzania   5, 6) Dick - Kenya



Tattler, Grey-tailed  Tringa brevipes  Found: North America (rare), Europe, Asia, Australia
Gray-tailed Tattler have gray back and wings.
Similar to: Wandering Tattler. Their ranges rarely overlap. The best distinction between them is the call; Gray-tailed has a disyllabic whistle, and Wandering a rippling trill. [Wikipedia]
Image by: 1) JJ Harrison - Australia  2) honan4108  3) Alpsdake - Japan  4) Dominic Sherony


Tattler, Wandering Tringa incana   Found: The Americas, Asia, Australia
Wandering Tattler have gray back and wings.
Similar to: Gray-tailed Tattler. Their ranges rarely overlap. The best distinction between them is the call; Gray-tailed has a disyllabic whistle, and Wandering a rippling trill. [Wikipedia]
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels- Kauai, Hawaii  2, 3) Jason Crotty - California  4) Winnu
1, 2) Nonbreeding 3, 4) Breeding  


Willet, (Eastern)   Tringa semipalmata semipalmata  Found: East coast of The Americas
There are two distinct groups of willets - one on the east coast of the Americas and one on the west coast of the Americas. They may eventually be given independent species status.
Image by: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) Dick Daniels - North Carolina  2) Dick - Sanibel Island, Florida


Willet (Western) Tringa semipalmata inornata   Found:  West coast of The Americas
There are two distinct groups of willets - one on the east coast of the Americas and one on the west coast of the Americas. They may eventually be given independent species status.
Image by: 1, 2, 3, 4) Dick Daniels - Half Moon Bay, California    5) Charlie Westerinen - tHuntington Beach, CA
     6) Alan D. Wilson - Huntington Beach, California


Yellowlegs, Greater Tringa melanoleuca   Found: The Americas
The Greater Yellowlegs has long yellow legs, long thin dark lightly upturned bill, gray-brown upperparts, neck and breast streaked with dark brown, white belly and rump.
Similar to: Common Greenshank. Common Greenshank have green legs; Greater Yellowlegs have yellow legs.
Similar to Lesser Yellowlegs. The Greater Yellowlegs (approxiately Willet size) is considerably larger than the Lesser Yellowlegs (approximately Dowitcher size). Lesser always has a completely dark bill while nonbreeding Greater's bill becomes lighter near the base. Greater's bill is proportionately longer than the Lesser's bill. Greater's bill is concave on top surface, Lesser's is flat. Greater's call in flight is a 3 to 4 sequence and louder than the Lesser's 1 to 2 sequence.
Similar to: Spotted Redshank in nonbreeding season. Yellowlegs have yellow legs while Spotted Redshanks have red legs.
Image by: 1, 2, 9, 10, 11) Dick Daniels - North Carolina  3) Teddy Llovet - California  4) Elaine R. Wilson - California    5) Len Blumin - California   6) Mike Baird - California   7) Don DeBold - California   8) Cláudio Timm - Brazil  12) Dick - New Jersey
1) Greater Yellowlegs compared to Dowitchers  3) Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs 


Yellowlegs, Lesser Tringa flavipes   Found: The Americas
The Lesser Yellowlegs has long yellow legs, long thin dark lightly upturned bill, gray-brown upperparts, neck and breast streaked with dark brown, white belly and rump.
Similar to: Greater Yellowlegs. The Greater Yellowlegs (approxiately Willet size) is considerably larger than the Lesser Yellowlegs (approximately Dowitcher size). Lesser always has a completely dark bill while nonbreeding Greater's bill becomes lighter near the base. Greater's bill is proportionately longer than the Lesser's bill. Greater's bill is concave on top surface, Lesser's is flat. Greater's call in flight is a 3 to 4 sequence and louder than the Lesser's 1 to 2 sequence.
Similar to: Spotted Redshank in nonbreeding season. Yellowlegs have yellow legs while Spotted Redshanks have red legs.
Similar to: Upland Sandpiper. Upland Sandpiper are found around grassy environments unlike other similar birds that are usually found around water.
Image by:  1, 2)  Wwcsig - New York   3, 4, 7) Dick Daniels - North Carolina   5, 6) Dick - McGee Island, Maine
1 - 4) Nonbreeding  5) Breeding



Genus  Xenus - 1 species

Sandpiper, Terek  Xenus cinereus  Found: Asia, Africa, Australasia
The Terek Sandpiper has a gray back, face, breast; white supercilium; whitish belly; black bill with  yellow base; yellow feet. The bill is long and up-curved.
Image by: 1) Ainus - Taiwan  2) Alpsdake - Japan  3) Dick Daniels - Madagascar 4) Andi Li





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