Shore Bird Identification Chart

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Shore Bird Identification Chart

Useful field marks for identifying Florida shorebirds in their winter plumage.
SANDPIPERS
SIZE
BILL
LEGS AND FEET
NOTES
MOSTLY PLAIN BACKS
Willetlarge (crow size)gray - several inchesgraywing pattern - striking
Dunlinmediumblack drooping at endblacksewing machine eating, has a bib
Red Knotmediumblackdull olivenot anything else - knot
Western Sandpipertinyblack drooping at endblackwhite goes right up to the chin
Spotted Sandpipersmalldull yellowish, grayishyellowishpumps tail,loner, no spots
MOSTLY PATTERNED BACKS
Greater Yellowlegslargelonger than head width, up tiltedbright yellowwhite speckles on back
Lesser Yellowlegsmedium-largeas long as head width, straightbright yellowwhite speckles on back
Short-billed DowitchermediumVery long for bird sizeyellowishfeathers outlined on back, sewing machine eating, rufous cap, eyeline
Ruddy Turnstonesmallshortorangestriking patterns back and neck
Least Sandpipertinyblack drooping at endyellowishfeathers outlined on back, has a bib
PLOVERSSIZEBILLLEGS AND FEETNOTES
Killdeermediumshort blackflesh coloredTWO bands on neck
Black-bellied Plovermediummedium black as run through, pencil sharpenerblackno black belly, LARGE BEADY EYE
Wilson's Ploversmalllarge for plover - blackyellowishmud colored back
Semi-palmated Sandpipertinytiny, black, orange baseorange-ishmud colored back
PALE BACKS (mostly on beach)
Sanderlingsmallblackblackwhite bar under shoulder
Piping Plovertinyblack maybe orange base orange-ishorange-ishpale sandy
Snowy Plovertinyblackgraypale sandy grayish
BIG GUYS (An Event)SIZEBILLLEGS AND FEETNOTES
Marbled Godwitvery largelong upturned pink baseblackbrownish speckled
Long-billed Curlewvery largeextremely longtanbrownish speckled