Western Sandpiper in Hamilton, Ontario

8 June 2009

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Western Sandpiper in first alternate plumage on 8 June 2009. These year-old birds acquire a plumage ranging from breeding to winter or in between. It lacks the full adult's bright rufous upperparts and arrowhead markings on the sides and flanks.


This bird's first alternate plumage shows a mix of patterns ranging from basic-like with narrow dark shaft streak to weakly coloured alternate feathers with dark centres, which is probably due to reduced hormone levels. 8 June 2009.


Year-old birds that do not attain bright alternate plumage stay on wintering grounds or make only a partial northward migration. 8 June 2009.


Semipalmated (left) and Western Sandpiper (right) both have semipalmations between the toes. 8 June 2009.


Semipalmations between the toes of Western Sandpiper. 8 June 2009