Sandpipers and Sanderlings

sanderling bubbles 2
Sanderlings are the most common little bird we see at the beach.

sanderling w bubbles
They dart along the water's edge looking for food and running from the waves.

sanderling bubbles 3
They look much different as juveniles than they do with breeding plumage, which is a rich reddish-brown. You can always tell a Sanderling from most other peeps by his lack of a hind toe. This is what makes Sanderlings such great runners!

semipalmated sandpiper webbed
The Semipalmated Sandpiper is a bit smaller and has a less rounded head. But Semiplamated Sandpipers also have one fairly unique feature that sets them apart from the masses of little shorebirds - Semipalmated Sandpipers have partially webbed feet! The slightly webbed toes help him walk on mud.

semipalmated sandpiper run
Semipalmated sandpipers do have a hind toe, which is a way of distinguishing them from Sanderlings.


  1. Great pics Sue! And thanks for the much-needed education. Shorebirds are tough- I have a ways to go when it comes to learning my IDs :) Maybe now I'll get around to posting my BwBTC pics. That's what's been holding me back- getting the IDs right.

  2. Super shots Susan of the 'clockwork' wader. Love watching its antics as it chases up and down the waters edge. FAB.


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