Solitary SandpiperTringa solitaria
8 1/2" (22 cm). A small dark sandpiper with dark olive legs, speckled upperparts, white tail barred with black, and prominent eye ring. Flight is swallow-like. No white wing stripe, as seen in Spotted Sandpiper.
A high-pitched peet-weet or peet-weet-weet, more shrill than call of Spotted Sandpiper.
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Ponds, bogs, wet swampy places, and woodland streams.
Breeds in Alaska and across Canada to Labrador, south to northeastern Minnesota. Winters in American tropics.
The well-named Solitary Sandpiper usually migrates alone rather than in flocks. It feeds along the margin of a wooded pond or stream and, in the West, along the edges of irrigation canals and small ponds, especially where cattle are watered. When disturbed, it bobs its head and flies up, uttering its ringing note call. Its habit of nesting in the abandoned nests of other birds is unique among North American shorebirds, which generally nest on the ground.
4 pale green or buff eggs, thickly spotted with gray and brown, in deserted tree nests of thrushes, jays, or blackbirds.