Least Sandpiper

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Not much larger than a sparrow, the aptly named Least Sandpiper is among the smallest of the numerous sandpiper species. It’s a winter resident of southern Arizona and the southernmost part of the United States. In summer, this sandpiper breeds in Alaska and the northernmost part of Canada.

I don’t see these sandpipers very often. When I encounter them it’s often in irrigated fields or natural puddles in southern Arizona’s farmlands. Most of the time these birds seem to show up in small flocks of a handful to a dozen or so individuals. However, the individual depicted in today’s post was solitary.

Some sandpiper species tend to resemble other sandpiper species, occasionally making identification difficult. That’s not the case with the Least Sandpiper: its diminutive size and bright yellow legs are easy to identify field marks.

Image made with a Canon R5, Canon EF 400mm f4 DO II lens+Canon EF 1.4x telextender, M setting (auto ISO), ISO 800, f5.6 @ 1/4000, -1/3 stop exposure compensation.

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