Daily Bird: Stilt Sandpiper
Edited from a version published in 2016You can get the Daily Bird via text by signing up here.
by Greg Hanisek, editor of The Connecticut Warbler
One of these uncommon birds recently appeared at Milford Point. In general it can be found in coastal wetlands, usually on mud flats with other shorebirds.
Fallouts are possible though. On August 28, 2006, a major fallout, associated with a cold front and strong thunderstorms, occurred on the western part of the coast. Eight were found with about 200 Lesser Yellowlegs at Seaside Park in Bridgeport, and 25 were at Sikorsky Airport in Stratford along with 350 Lesser Yellowlegs.
Look for a bird about the size of a Lesser Yellowlegs, but with a slightly but noticeably down-curved bill and greenish to gray-green (rather than bright yellow) legs. The pale supercillium (eyebrow) is usually apparent. Birds in fresh juvenile plumage arrive later in the fall season than adults.
If you suspect that, start calling friends and taking pictures!
Milford Point is an especially favorable place to look for shorebirds of many species because of the way high tides concentrate them in a relatively small open area. When the tide is low they spread out more widely. But when they’re in a small area, it’s easy to disturb them if you walk too close. So watch from afar and let the birds eat and rest undisturbed.
Conservation Status: No special conservation status has been accorded to this species, nor have any conservation measures been proposed or taken. However, the species’ apparent rarity may be pertinent, according to Birds of the World Online. Habitat degradation in the Churchill, Manitoba, area has been noted as the result of overgrazing by Canada and Snow Geese.