Wildlife Highlight: The Spotted Sandpiper

July 30, 2014

The Spotted Sandpiper

The Spotted Sandpiper is an uncommon but regular visitor to Mount Auburn Cemetery during the late summer.  Willow Pond and Auburn Lake, where the accompanying photo was taken are the best places to find them in the Cemetery. During this season “the Spotty” loses its spots which are replaced with a tawny color at the side of the breast, Pete Dunne describes it as a thumbprint, as if someone with dirty hands had grabbed it.

One distinguishing trait of the bird throughout the year is that it will constantly teeter or bob its tail up and down, with the head lower than the tail. In flight the bird flutters, with its wings appearing stiff like flaps – for an overall effect more akin to a vibrating motion rather than what we may usually perceive as more streamlined or predictable flight.

Spotted Sandpipers tend to feed at the edge of a pond or river and also on top of vegetation like the water lily pads in the photo above.

About the Author: Bob Stymeist

Bob Stymeist is Bird Observer's Bird Sightings Compiler and a regular bird walk leader for the Friends of Mount Auburn. View all posts by Bob Stymeist →

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