American Game Birds

Illustrating More Than One Hundred Species In Natural Colors

By Chester A. Reed

Page 34

WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS (Pisobia fuscicollis) are placed by sportsmen in that class of small species known as "Peeps," too small to be worth the taking, the present species measuring but little more than 7 in. in length. Yet they have their dangers, for youthful hunters, unable to stalk larger game, often practice on these and I have known of men old enough to know better, to fire into flocks of "Peeps" just to see how many they could get. They breed on our Arctic coast and migrate most abundantly through the Mississippi Valley, but also in numbers along the Atlantic coast to southern South America. The upper bird shows this species in its summer plumage; it is a trifle grayer in winter, being about the same color as the bird below, from which it is of course easily identified by the white rump patch; the breast of the present species is also more heavily streaked than that of the next.


BAIRD SANDPIPER (Pisobia bairdi). This species, which has a dark rump, is of the same size as the last. Either kind may be found in flocks composed only of their own species or in mixed flocks of the two and other smaller sandpipers. Both species are very confiding and will allow anyone to approach within a few feet of them as they run about at the water's edge gathering the tiny insects that are always present in abundance. Like the last, these birds migrate most commonly through the Mississippi Valley, but they also occur on both coasts.


LEAST SANDPIPER (Pisobia minutilla). The most diminutive of all our sandpipers, but almost matched by the Semi-palmated, being only 6 in. in length. The toes are wholly devoid of webbing, the back is browner and the breast more distinctly streaked than that of the other species of similar size. These sandpipers breed in the northern half of Canada and Alaska, and winter from southern United States southward occurring during migrations throughout the land. They are almost devoid of fear and are seldom and ought never to be shot.