Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper by John Pickles
© John Pickles
Actitis macularia
The Spotted Sandpiper is a bird present in Louisiana the year around, common in the main periods of migration (mid-March to the end of May, late July to the end of October) but rare in midsummer and midwinter. As yet there is no satisfactory evidence that it nests here, despite the fact that it has been alleged to do so. Individuals seen in June may be late northbound migrants and those seen in July may be early southbound migrants. As noted previously, the mere presence of a species in breeding season is by no means proof of nesting. An actual nest, a young individual just out of the nest, or one too poorly developed to undertake sustained flight is required to establish that a species is breeding in an area.
In spring the Spotted Sandpiper acquires the plumage that gives it its name, for the breast becomes heavily sprinkled with black spots. In the molt following the breeding season these spots are lost. The bird is still easily recognized at any season by its habit of bobbing the back end of its body up and down, by the fact that in flight it almost never lifts its wings much above the horizontal and generally glides a few feet with its wings held at a downward tilt just before landing, and by its distinctive call note, a clear pee-weet. At Baton Rouge there are no records for the species between May 25 and July 20, but on the coast it has been seen in every week of the year. --George H. Lowery, Jr., 1974, Louisiana Birds

Birds of Louisianadjl
LOS Homepage