Solitary Sandpiper: Medium sandpiper, pale-spotted, dark brown back and rump, white underparts with streaks on neck and sides. Head is dark, eye-ring is bold white. Tail is black with conspicuous black-and-white barred edges. Bill, legs, and feet are olive-green. Direct flight is light and bouyant.
Range and Habitat
Solitary Sandpiper: Breeds in wooded northland of Canada and Alaska. Spends winters from the southern states and the West Indies south to central South America. Preferred habitats include swampy margins of brackish pools, freshwater ponds, and woodland streams.
First described by ornithologist Alexander Wilson in 1813, its nest was not discovered until 1903.
Until that time, eggs and young of the Spotted Sandpiper were misidentified as those of the Solitary Sandpiper.
Its habit of nesting in the abandoned nests of other birds is unique among North American shorebirds, which generally nest on the ground.
The Solitary Sandpiper is commonly seen in migration along the banks of ponds and creeks. While not truly solitary, it does not migrate in large flocks the way other shorebirds do.
A group of sandpipers has many collective nouns, including a "bind", "contradiction", "fling", "hill", and "time-step" of sandpipers.
The Solitary Sandpiper is a small shorebird that prefers to nest in trees, laying its eggs in abandoned nests from other species. Preferred breeding grounds for this species include various forests in Alaska and Canada. In winter months, this species migrates southward to Central and South America, in the Amazon River basin and the Caribbean. These birds may rarely be seen in western Europe as well. Diets typically consist of small invertebrates and sometimes frogs found along the edges of bodies of fresh water such as ponds and lakes. The conservation rating for this species is Least Concern.