Piper Pecking

This Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius) was busy gleaning what it could from the rocks ahead of a rising tide. The bird’s position on the northeast corner of the park, directly below the Open Circle viewpoint, lay as far north as I’ve seen this species; they more commonly pace among the rocks opposite the hotel and even alongside the Virginia Street extension. This individual’s spots could be seen only with effort; later in the season they will darken like polka dots on its white breast. Even without the spots, its behavior gives it away: the constant dipping of the body and bowing of the neck seem to have no obvious evolutionary purpose, but characterize the species nevertheless.

Links: Wikipedia Cornell Audubon

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