Broughton Beach Peeps

August 27, 2016  •  2 Comments

A brief stop at Broughton Beach yesterday between meetings provided a nice assortment of peeps that helped me better understand the subtle differences in the general appearance of a small handful of shorebirds. Namely, BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, WESTERN SANDPIPER, SANDERLING, LEAST SANDPIPER, and SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER - the last of which I am embarrassed to say was a life bird for me even though it is a regularly occurring seasonal migrant throughout Oregon.

Please keep in mind that Peeps are very small birds - six to seven-and-half inches long.

I am hoping someone will invent a digital overlay that accurately presents the dimensions of the subject matter for a given focal length, range, and crop (aka zoom).


BAIRD'S SANDPIPER:   

Largest of the peeps found today.  Long horizontal posture, wings extending well beyond the tail.

WESTERN SANDPIPER:

Long drooping bill - dark legs . . .

SANDERLING:

Common along the coast, unusual inland - high contrast, "clean" looking, dark shoulder

LEAST SANDPIPER:

Greenish-yellow legs, short thin bill

SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER: 

The term semipalmated is used to identify wading birds whose toes are webbed for part of their length. I found this bird among the others because of its short, stout, blunt-tipped bill.


Comments

2.Jamie B(non-registered)
New-ish casual birder here. Thank you for these very informative pictures with labels. I often give up trying to ID peeps as they all seem so similar.
1.Carole Hallett(non-registered)
Very nice photos. I see the differences that you noted between these guys. I'm not a shore birder but I can see the appeal.
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