Western Sandpiper

Calidris mauri

Western Sandpipers breed all along the Alaskan side of the Bering Sea and also in the Russian far east. As such it is not surprising that this species is annual in small numbers in the Pribilofs. A few individuals are typically found in spring, and are easily identified by their bright reddish scapular feathers, black flank spots, relatively long bills, and rusty crown and auriculars. In late summer and fall southbound adults and especially juveniles occur, sometimes in flocks of more than 10 birds. Look for their black legs, long and thin, (often) slightly drooped bills, black legs rufous edges to their tertial and scapular feathers to separate them from other species of smallCalidrissandpipers. Often southbound juvenile Stints, especially Red-necked Stints, will join flocks of migrant Westerns in the Salt Lagoon or along the sandy stretches of our inland lakes, so check each flock carefully. Red-necked Stints will typically stand out, as they possess shorter and straighter bills, gray wing coverts often edged with white, relatively long wings, and dull tertials.