Purple Sandpiper: Dr. J. Murray Speirs

The Purple Sandpiper is another circumpolar Arctic breeder, but unlike many others in this category, it winters along the North Atlantic coasts, not far to the south in South America.

Purple Sandpiper

I associate it with dreary November days on rocky promontories or piers.

Purple Sandpiper

Even then it is sufficiently rare in Ontario to be a cause for rejoicing when spotted.

Purple Sandpiper

The Purple Sandpiper is a little bigger than a Spotted Sandpiper.

Spotted Sandpiper (juvenile)
Purple Sandpiper

When we see it here in the fall it is mainly dark slate gray (like the rocks on which it is often found), with a white belly and orange to yellow legs.

Purple Sandpiper

In the breeding plumage (seldom seen in Ontario) it has a great deal of a scaly brown pattern on its back.

photo: borealsongbirdinitiative.com
Purple Sandpiper with duck observer

Dr. J. Murray Speirs

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