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Western Sandpiper vs Dunlin


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Hey! Simple one today.

Westerns, Dunlins, and Semipalmated sandpipers in nonbreeding plumage...... I can never seem to get the three straight. I know semipalamated has the shortest beak, followed by westerm, then dunlin has the longest beak. However, I am torn between western and dunlin in this image.


Anyone care to help and give some good tips for IDing the three species? Thanks! (This bird was seen in western Florida. It is shorebird migration currently here, lots of cool stuff).

DSCN6304.JPG

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5 minutes ago, BigOly said:

? To me the bill looks a little short for Dunlin.Dulin.jpg.b0555649eec2ee81c29f4494c78c0c82.jpg

If you compare manually, you will see that the bird pictured in the topic has a bill almost as long as in the picture you showed above, short only by a couple of millimeters. I think habits and appearance point to Dunlin.

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10 minutes ago, Quiscalus quiscula said:

If you compare manually, you will see that the bird pictured in the topic has a bill almost as long as in the picture you showed above, short only by a couple of millimeters. I think habits and appearance point to Dunlin.

 

Western or Dunlin?  Not trying to beat a dead horse.

I835987096_SandpiperWestern.1.jpg.a0ddc62a65e0c554f13b522ed044d453.jpg

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These look more like Western Sandpipers to me personally but I’ll admit it’s tough without being able to gauge size… plain grayish (no brown tones), face, throat and breast pattern looks more like a WESA to me. The bill shape is probably well within range of either species. Honestly I’m not 100% sure but leaning Western

What date was the original photo taken? It’s still on the early side for Dunlins

 

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I agree these are Western Sandpipers. The white facial markings and the white breast with flecks of gray are good for the species. Dunlin are plainer-faced and have a uniform gray breast. 

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17 hours ago, BigOly said:

 

Western or Dunlin?  Not trying to beat a dead horse.

I835987096_SandpiperWestern.1.jpg.a0ddc62a65e0c554f13b522ed044d453.jpg

You make a good point, however I think habitat makes a big difference. The bird shown above is probably Western Sandpiper, as we can see some rufous edging on the feathers and it is foraging on a mud flat. I am no longer as certain on my ID of @Mush's bird, however I find it unlikely that a Western Sandpiper would be foraging in such deep water.

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14 hours ago, Seanbirds said:

Leaving ID forums right now…

Don't leave, I know I've made some bad identifications in the past, you know about those, but in the end I decided not to leave this community, as everyone makes mistakes and I love to give my opinions on birds, even when they are sometimes wrong and I am corrected.

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On 8/17/2021 at 11:28 AM, Quiscalus quiscula said:

Don't leave, I know I've made some bad identifications in the past, you know about those, but in the end I decided not to leave this community, as everyone makes mistakes and I love to give my opinions on birds, even when they are sometimes wrong and I am corrected.

If @Seanbirds is leaving, I should have left a long time ago. multiple opinions helps everyone think through the different options better,  I think.

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