Small Waders


Two Piping Plovers were photographed at Bradford Beach in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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The Piping Plover is a small pale bird, the color of dry sand, with an incomplete dark ring around the neck, and throat, belly and undersides white, with yellow legs, yellow beak with a black tip. In winter the legs and bill are dark. It has a range of south Canada to northeast and central United States. It has a habitat of sand beaches and tidal flats. It has a diet of insects, marine worms, and crustaceans. It moves about in quick fashion and abrupt stops, and is hard to see when on the sand when foraging by pecking.

 

The Common Snipe was photographed at Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area in Montana.

The Common Snipe was photographed at Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area in Montana.

This Common Snipe was photograph by surprise while trying to find the American Bittern on Pennsylvania Ave. between Oakwood and Ryan Roads in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the Common Snipe

The Common Snipe is brown with buff and bold zigzag stripes on the back, a striped head, an extremely long bill, greenish legs, and a short orange tail. The range is most of North America. It has a habitat of marshes, bogs and wet meadows. It is a solitary creature of wet fields and bogs. It can often be heard sitting from atop a fence post or dead tree. It has a diet of mostly insects and earthworms found from probing in soft mud.

 

The Buff-Breasted Sandpiper was photographed at the Wind Lake Grass Farm in Union Grove, Wisconsin.

The Buff-Breasted Sandpiper was photographed at the Wind Lake Grass Farm in Union Grove, Wisconsin.

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the Buff-Breasted Sandpiper

The Buff-Breasted Sandpiper is brown above and buff below with a short bill, light eye-ring, and yellowish legs. It has a breeding range of northwestern American Arctic. It has a habitat on mainly dry short grass prairies and tundra ridges. This is an odd setting for shorebirds. It feeds on mostly insects.

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The summer breeding American Avocet was photographed at Freezout Lake Wildlife Managemnet Area in Montana

The summer breeding American Avocet was photographed at Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area in Montana

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the American Avocet

Select this link to see panorama photos of Freezout Lake

The American Avocet is a large slim shorebird with a very slender upturned bill that has a striking white-black pattern body, a pinkish tan head and neck, and bluish legs. It has a range of the southwestern Canada, western United States and the southwestern and southern coasts. It has a habitat of beaches, flats, shallow lakes, and prairie ponds. It favors salty lakes more than fresh water. It has a diet of mostly small crustaceans, insects, and some seeds. They often feed walking forward while swing their bills from side to side over the water.

The Whimbrel was photographed at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Lake Michigan

The Whimbrel was photographed at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Lake Michigan

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the Whimbrel

The Whimbrel is a large gray-brown wader with a long decurved bill, striped head, and gray legs. It has a range of the Arctic circumpolar and can be found on the United States coasts in the winter. It has a habitat of shores, mud flats, marshes, prairies, and tundra. Its diet includes insects, crustaceans, and berries. It feeds more by picking, less by probing.

The Marbled Godwit was photographed at Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area in Montana

The Marbled Godwit was photographed at Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area in Montana

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the Marbled Godwit

The Marbled Godwit is a large rich mottled buff-brown color upper and lighter buff-brown color lower with dark legs and a slightly turned up bill. It has a range of the Northern Great Plains of the United States and Canada. It has a habitat of prairies, pools, shores, and tide flats mostly in the Northern Great Plains. When it leaves the prairies after summer it usually goes as a large flock to coastal regions. It has a diet of insects, mollusks, and crustaceans.

The Upland Sandpiper was photographed on the farm road going to the Badlands National Park in South Dakota

The Upland Sandpiper was photographed on the farm road going to the Badlands National Park in South Dakota

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the Upland Sandpiper

The Upland Sandpiper is a “pigeon-headed” brown sandpiper with a small head, short bill, thin neck, long tail, and shoe-button eye. It often perches on fence posts and poles and holds wings elevated. It has a range of mostly Canada and northern United States. It has a habitat of dry grassy prairies, open meadows, and fields. It is almost never seen on mud flats or other typical shorebird habitats. It has a diet of mostly insects and seeds.

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