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Solitary Sandpiper

Solitary Sandpiper, post-breeding ad, molting into winter plumage, side-back view, Babcock, 2012-08-01.jpg

The Solitary Sandpiper is solitary in multiple ways. It does not usually mix in with other sandpipers on our beaches. It is often found by itself or with one or two other Solitary Sandpipers in muddy ditches, or fallow agricultural fields with shallow pools of water. It also is solitary in its choice of a nest site: it adopts an old nest of a songbird high in a tree in boreal forests.

Standing tall on its gray-green legs, the Solitary Sandpiper is readily identified by the white ring around each eye, the very dark lower edge and front edge of its folded wings, a distinct white throat between a broad band of dull brown streaks and a slightly striped chin, and its gray-green legs. Solitary Sandpipers are visitors to Florida between March and May and from July to October as they travel between their summer home in the boreal forests of Alaska and Canada to wintering areas from the Caribbean to South America. They feed on insects, snails, and other small creatures.