This is a companion to my other Bird of the Day blog, which focuses on birds I have seen in Victoria, Canada.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Spotted Sandpiper

Actitis macularia
Medium-small shorebird
Pale eyebrow and dark eye-line
White wedge up onto shoulder
Breeding plumage:  (pictured above)
    - Orange bill with black tip
    - Brown head, back and upper-wings with small black bars
    - White underparts with round, dark spots
Non-breeding plumage:
     - Dark bill with pale base
     - Pale brown head, back and upper-wings with dark and buff bars
     - White underparts, without dark spots
We saw this sandpiper on the muddy bank of the Tempisque River in Palo Verde National Park. He was very close to the water where crocodiles were in plain view. Our guide told us that crocodiles and sandpipers have a symbiotic relationship. The crocodiles supposedly allows the birds to enter their mouths to clean their teeth. Really?!? Although apparently the story has been around since the Greek historian Herodotus wrote about it in the fifth century BC, it sounds a bit far-fetched to me.
Learn more about the Spotted Sandpiper.

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