My Bird Blog: A blog about my birding discoveries, bird feeders, birds on my life lists, and all things bird related

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Buff-breasted Sandpiper - Life Bird!

Published August 31, 2014
Tags: Life List Happenings, Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Another awesome find by Jim Pawlicki brought a beautiful addition to my life list on the 31st. Jim was checking out the small boat harbor down by the waterfront when he nearly ran over a delicate little shorebird, a Buff-breasted Sandpiper.

Jim immediately recognized the rarity and alerted the birding community of its presence. I tried for this bird several times last year without any luck, so I wasted no time getting down there to see it - hoping and praying it lingered.  As it turned out, this beauty stayed for a couple of days and I had no need to rush - but you just never know and I didn't want to leave it to chance!

This shorebird prefers grassy areas instead of the usual mudflats that most shorebirds inhabit.  It's quite rare for our region but there have been several reports this year for some reason. Maybe they had a good breeding year - I hope so because this bird was nearly hunted to extinction back in the early 1900's.

The male Buff-breasted Sandpiper will defend a territory so that he can perform a "display" of sorts to attract a female - kind of like a dance. This is the only shorebird in North American who uses a lek mating system.

I stayed and watched the sandpiper forage mainly on the grassy areas surrounding the harbor, took many photos, and then finally left it to get back to some family birthday preparations. What a great find - thank you, Jim!
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Buff-breasted Sandpiper - lifebird!
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Buff-breasted Sandpiper
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Buff-breasted Sandpiper
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Buff-breasted Sandpiper
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Buff-breasted Sandpiper