transitioning into breeding plumage (California, USA; 2008-04-30)

Calidris alpina

Native Range: North America and Eurasia

Notes: frequents beaches and mudflats during migration, sometimes in huge numbers; probes rapidly with a bill that noticeably droops at the tip; formerly called "red-backed sandpiper" (for reasons evident in some of the photos below).

breeding plumage adult; red back, black belly (California, USA; 2009-04-19)

pair in near-breeding plumage (California, USA; 2009-04-19)

adult in drab nonbreeding plumage (California, USA; 2006-09-24)

note droop at tip of bill (California, USA; 2006-09-24)