American Game Birds

Illustrating More Than One Hundred Species In Natural Colors

By Chester A. Reed

Page 35

RED-BACKED SANDPIPER (Pelidnaalpina sakhalina). Otherwise known as "Dunlin," "Black-bellied Sandpiper" and "Winter Snipe." Easily recognized, even when in the gray winter dress, by the rather stout slightly decurved bill. Like Purple Sandpipers they like cold weather, and after breeding along the Arctic coast they pass the winter along our coasts south of Washington on the Pacific and of New Jersey on the Atlantic side. They are rarely met with in the interior except casually along the shores of the Great Lakes. While they are but 9 in. in length, they are so plump and so numerous that some gunners cannot resist the temptation as they wheel over their decoys, but the majority consider them not worth while as game. They may be found either on the sea beaches or on mud flats.


SANDERLING (Calidris leucophm). The lightest colored of the sandpipers, being chiefly white in winter, but in summer having the head and breast more or less washed with rusty. Breeds throughout the Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere and, in America, winters from the Southern States south to Patagonia. On the coasts and the shores of the Great Lakes they occur abundantly during fall, frequenting the open sea beaches as well as more sheltered bays. Because of their liking for the outer sand bars, they are often called "Surf Snipe."

     Their plump bodies are highly prized by youthful sportsmen, but those of more mature judgment pronounce their length of only 8 in. as below their standard of sportsmanship.


SEMI-PALMATED SANDPIPER (Ereunetes pusillus). So called because a small web exists between the outer toes; to gunners they are known, with other small sandpipers, simply as "Peeps." Of the same size as the Least Sandpiper, namely 6 in. in length. Breeds in the Arctic regions and is very abundant during migrations from the Atlantic coast to the Rocky Mountains. West of the Rockies a very similar species, Western Sandpiper (Ereunetes maitri), occurs. Its upper parts are brighter, like those of the Least Sandpiper, and the bill is slightly longer.