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North Alabama in the past week.    With the first picture, are both birds least sandpipers and there is a depth of field trick making the closer bird's legs and bill look too long for a least?  Or is the closer bird something else?

Second picture, confirm Buff-breasted sandpiper

thanks

IMG_9302-SharpenAI-motion.jpg

IMG_9413-SharpenAI-motion.jpg

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33 minutes ago, heme42 said:

Aren't pectoral and stilts about the same size?  8.5 - 8.8 in.   Bill seems long for a pectoral and lacks the usual breast streaking, but I'm certainly no expert.  

When I have seen them together, the Stilts are noticeably taller.

But now you have me second guessing myself, because that bill is long, even though I don't see as much barring on the flanks as I'd want to. I have such a love/hate relationship with sandpipers.

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The bird in the first pic strikes me more as a Stilt Sandpiper than a Pectoral. The bill does seem to be fairly long, which would lean more in favour of Stilt. Strong white eye brow and overall grey-ish colouration makes me lean more Stilt too - I believe Pectoral would be a warmer orange-brown at this time of year in both juveniles and non-breeding adults. Also, this is anecdotal and I'm not sure how accurate it is as an ID point, but all the Pectorals I've seen seem to have at least some orange on the base of the bill, whereas your bird does not have any.

Definitely agree that the second picture is a Buff-breasted Sandpiper too - nice bird!

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2 minutes ago, NorthernKeys said:

 Also, this is anecdotal and I'm not sure how accurate it is as an ID point, but all the Pectorals I've seen seem to have at least some orange on the base of the bill, whereas your bird does not have any.

Definitely agree that the second picture is a Buff-breasted Sandpiper too - nice bird!

I have heard that, too, and also have seen it. Sigh.

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15 minutes ago, meghann said:

For kicks, a comparison shot I found of mine. Least, Pectoral, and Stilt, with bonus Yellowlegs (headless one is Lesser YL, one in back is Greater.)

piper comparison

 

Love that pic, wish we could get groups like that here! I've never seen so many shapes and sizes of shorebirds at once.

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Just now, NorthernKeys said:

Love that pic, wish we could get groups like that here! I've never seen so many shapes and sizes of shorebirds at once.

Yeah, it sure made things a little easier that day. Especially the yellowlegs. Greater and Lesser are super easy to tell apart when they stand next to each other, lol.

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4 hours ago, meghann said:

Yeah, it sure made things a little easier that day. Especially the yellowlegs. Greater and Lesser are super easy to tell apart when they stand next to each other, lol.

To the best of my recollection I saw my life Greater and my life Lesser Yellowlegs standing side by side. And next to them was my lifer Solitary Sandpiper. That was a memorable day.

eta: I agree with Stilt Sandpiper.

Edited by Peromyscus
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