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Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpipers are the smallest of the shorebirds – the smallest of the “peeps”. They are readily identifiable by their diminutive stature and yellow legs, distinguishing them from the slightly larger and black-legged Semipalmated and Western sandpipers.
CALIDRIS MINUTILLA
• Length: 6 inches
• Wingspan: 13 inches
• Season: Winter
More about Least Sandpipers.
Where they are, and when.

In breeding plumage, they are a dark brown but otherwise, a drab gray. Their bill is short and pointed, often with a slight downward droop.

When foraging, they walk slowly, often crouching while searching for insects, crustaceans, snails, mollusks and marine worms.

They gather in small flocks on beaches, mudflats and salt marshes on the Gulf Coast in winter after summering on their breeding grounds in the tundra and primitive forests of northern Canada and Alaska. They begin arriving in August and start their spring migration north in April.

About Scott Clark

I’m a digital journalist who’s worked as a photographer, reporter, producer and editor. My interest in the natural history of my surroundings reaches back to my early days beachcombing on the Jersey coast, rowing my boat on a quiet lake in Missouri and, more recently, discovering the mountains and backwoods of Montana, where I was born.

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