Stilt Sandpiper

Calidris himantopus

Stilt Sandpipers are scarce breeders along the Northeast coast of Alaska. There are four spring and two fall records of this casual species in the Pribilofs. The spring records are all in early and mid June, and the fall records are from mid-September. In spring this shorebird is distinctive, as it has heavily barred underparts, a thin drooping bill, long pale yellow legs, pale supercilium, and rusty ear coverts. Juveniles retain the pale legs and shape of adults, but have a buffy wash down the neck, dark crown and rufous scapulars. The overall body shape of Stilt Sandpiper is reminiscent of aTringabut they feed with an up-and-down movement like Dowitchers. This species is unlikely to be confused with any other North American shorebird. It does have a passing resemblance to the old-world Marsh Sandpiper, which has occurred in the Bering Sea three times in fall. The bill of Marsh Sandpiper does not droop however, and that species has a white rump and back. Dunlin and Curlew Sandpiper, which share the bill structure of this species are both shorter, and dark-legged.