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Saw these birds in freshwater pond just a short distance from Puget Sound saltwater. They almost appeared to be walking on water as thick algae(?) near shore bank. In Washington State on Whidbey Island taken today 8/9/20. There were at least 3 if not more of these birds eating in same vicinity.   If past history is a guide, it is probably neither of these two but a third bird I have overlooked! 


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Both Semi and Western have thicker-based bills than Least. However, you should first start with the bird's age, as juveniles and adults of many shorebird species look quite different from each other, so you want to compare apples to apples, not apples to pomegranates.

Despite that this bird is wearing faded juvenile plumage, neither Semi nor Western show such strong orange tones in the wing feathers in juvenile plumage. Additionally, the white braces are a good differentiator between Least and most other smaller species of Calidris, though beware of Pec Sand.

Juv Semi -- this individual is a fairly orange bird relative to most, yet is still nowhere near as orange as your bird

Juv Western -- note that Western's orange color is generally restricted to the upper scapulars, as on this bird

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