Shorebirds: Least Sandpiper

Photo of Least Sandpiper (juvenile)

Least Sandpipers are the smallest of the so-called peeps who visit New England during spring and late-summer/fall. The yellow or yellow-green legs of Least Sandpipers -- assuming good light and optical aid (i.e., binoculars, spotting scope, zoom-lens camera) -- are obvious and useful for identification, as the other two peeps (Semipalmated and Western Sandpipers) have black legs. The bird shown here is especially handsome because s/he is sporting fresh juvenile plumage, having been born in Canada this summer.

While some Least Sandpipers make stop-overs at beaches and marsh mud flats along the coast, they're also the most numerous peep to visit inland locations. Look for them at the muddy edges of ponds and lakes and in flooded fields and meadows. To learn more about Least Sandpipers and hear their calls, visit All About Birds. (To view the following images in full-size, click here.)

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