Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2020-64

Common name:

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Scientific name: Calidris acuminata
Date: 10/29/2020
Time: Around 1600
Length of time observed: Off and on for approximately 1 hour
Number: 1
Age: Likely juvenile
Sex: Unknown
Location: Ouray National Wildlife Refuge
County: Uintah
Latilong: 40.165812,-109.58722
Elevation: Approximately 4,660 ft.
Distance to bird: Approximately 75 feet
Optical equipment: Leupold binos 15X56 and Canon EOS 5D camera with 600 mm lens
Weather: Clear, calm, and fairly warm for fall (50s)
Light Conditions: Sunny
Description:        Size of bird: Maybe 8" - much smaller than dowitchers and killdeer around it
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Sandpiper-shape: long legs and body
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Dark and rufous above; pale below
(Description:)            Bill Type: Narrow bill
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Rufous cap, white supercilium, dark and rufous above, buff on breast below light streaking, and whitish belly. See photos
Song or call & method of delivery: Silent. I did not hear it vocalize.
Behavior: Wading through and foraging in shallow water and mud flats.
Habitat: Wetland and mud flat
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Similar species would be pectoral sandpiper, which I also saw in this area but the pectoral sandpiper had prominent streaking on breast and did not have a bright rufous cap like the sharp-tailed sandpiper.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Not as much as I would like. I needed help (via my photos) in identifying this species.
References consulted: Nat Geo Field Guide to the Birds of North America, Merlin app, and online photos
Description from: From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Lesley Tullis
Observer's address: P.O. Box 405, Jensen, UT 84035
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: I wasn't exactly sure what this was, but Colby Neuman (e-bird reviewer for Utah) identified my photos as a sharp-tailed sandpiper.
Date prepared: 10/30/2020
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: