This Eurasian vagrant is unique among shorebirds for its nearly all-black breeding plumage. In all ages, the bill is long, dark with a reddish base to the lower mandible, and has a slight droop at the tip. In Flight: The legs are very long, so the entire foot extends beyond the tail. The underside of the wings are whitish. The rump and tail are barred gray. A white wedge extends up the back. Alternate Adult: Black overall, with small white spots on the back and wings, and narrow white eye crescents. Females also show some white markings on the head and underparts. The legs are reddish black. Basic Adult: Upperparts are light gray. The face and breast are very faintly marked with pale gray. A white supercilium is bold in front of the eye, but fades out behind the eye. The underparts are extensively white. The legs are bright red-orange. Juvenile: Much darker than Basic Adult. The upperparts are dark brown with white spots. The underparts are heavily barred with gray. The white supercilium is more obvious than on Basic Adult. The legs are paler orange.
Length: 30 (cm) Wingspan: 58 (cm)
Nests on tundra and in forest openings. Migrants use freshwater marshes, salt marshes, coastal lagoons.
Moves and feeds like a Yellowlegs, usually found in shallow water.
Picks food items from the surface of water or mud. In deeper water, sweeps bill side to side like an avocet. Also swims and tips up like a duck.
Expanded Life History
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