Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers, how to tell them apart

These are two of the most confusing peeps on the East Coast… Both are small shorebirds smaller than a Killdeer. They each have short bills and short legs. Now lets get to the exciting part, how to ID them.

They each live in the US. and winter either on coastline or farther south in the Bahamas/ Central America.* The Least Sandpiper is widespread across the US. while the Semipalmated is Midwest-East coast.

Least’s have yellow legs while Semi’s have grayish black legs. That is a key piece to telling the two species apart. Least’s also have “Snipe Stripes”** on their back.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/19045515 {Least Sandpiper, Only in breeding plumage they have "Snipe Stripes"}

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/18558157 {Semipalmated Sandpiper}

Semi’s typically have longer bills than Least’s and a bit more down curved making it look droopy. Semi’s average paler than Least’s in color.

Another great ID key is Least’s are normally inland. This is not always true but they prefer the mudflats while Semi’s stick to the coast more often.

I hoped you learned something through this and good birding!

*Ref https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Semipalmated_Sandpiper/maps-range

**Ref Shorebird ID course, Bird academy, Cornell lab

Αναρτήθηκε από sam727 sam727, Δεκέμβριος 24, 2018 1224 ΠΜ


Great article! @sam727

Αναρτήθηκε από bluejay2007 πάνω από 3 χρόνια πριν (Αναφορά)

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