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Matt_K

Alaska cruise ship shorebird help

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I saw the this shorebird land on the forward deck of a cruise ship three days ago.  Suppose it stopped to rest during migration.  We were about 12 miles offshore heading from from Juneau to Seattle.  I did notice it bobbing its tail once or twice, but did not hear any vocalizations.  I believe that it was killdeer sized, but possibly a bit smaller.

I have narrowed the possibilities, but am not convinced.

Any and all suggestions appreciated,

MK

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Posted (edited)

Good guess, because I agree with juvenile Spotted Sandpiper. A distinctive behavior of this sandpiper is the bobbing of its tail (but Solitaries can also do this). When in breeding plumage, adults are brown above, white below, have black spots on the belly and back, pale orange legs, and an orange bill. In nonbreeding plumage, adults are plain brown above and white underneath. Juveniles are similar to nonbreeding adults but have light brown barring on the back.

Edited by akandula
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That little white "spur" at the shoulder is a telltale sign for spotted sandpiper.  Right in front of the wing the white extends up from the breast.

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