Green Sandpiper

Tringa ochropus

There is only one record for this accidental shorebird in the Pribilof Islands. In fact, there are a mere eight records for the ABA area. Although photographed the Saint Paul bird that was found in May 24, 1998 was not officially accepted by the Alaska or ABA checklist committees. Green Sandpipers are in many ways the old-world counterpart to our Solitary Sandpiper. They are a small, dull-leggedTringa, with an extensively dark underwing, white rump and tail with bold barring at the end, and a very dark mantle. Care must be taken with any potential Green Sandpiper to rule out both a darker Wood Sandpiper, which are quite variable, and a vagrant Solitary Sandpiper. On spring adults, Green Sandpiper’s very dark (approaching black) wing coverts and back are very different from the mottled gray tones of Wood Sandpiper. In addition, the lack of a bold supercilium, white rump and tail and well defined boundary between the heavily streaked breast and white belly will help to rule out Wood Sandpiper. Solitary Sandpiper is very similar, and the calls of the two species are quite similar. The best mark for separating these two is the rump and tail pattern. On a Solitary Sandpiper the outer tail feathers are barred white and dark, while the central tail feathers are dark. On the Green Sandpiper, the central tail feathers are all white and the terminal end of each tail feather possesses two or three distinct bars. The one Saint Paul record was initially found in the wetland area behind Weather Bureau Lake, and was subsequently seen two days later feeding in the intertidal zone just east of East Landing.