A chunky, stocky, mid-sized shorebird of the Pacific Coast. Alternate Adult is well-patterned below with crisp chevron-shaped spots, and has rufous shoulder patch, finely streaked gray head and breast, gray wings, short tail, short yellow-based bill, and yellow legs. Basic Adult is plain gray overall with fine gray streaks on white belly; note structure, short bill, and yellow legs. Juvenile is similar to Basic Adult but more crisply marked with pale-edged wing feathers. In flight, note conspicuous white-based tail and narrow white wing stripes.
Length: 25 (cm) Wingspan: 66 (cm)
Nasal, quiet, chattering, and whistled notes.
Breeds on mountainous rocky tundra. Winters along rocky shorelines and jetties.
Nest is a rocky, lined depression on tundra. In winter, often flocks with Black Turnstones and Rock Sandpipers, running and picking along rocks at surf line.
Picks along rocks at edge of surf, sometimes running or flying up before breaking waves. Eats a variety of insects, barnacles, crustaceans, and other small aquatic organisms.
Where they use tidepool bathing spots with turnstones, Wandering Tattlers, or Rock Sandpipers, Surfbirds will dominate and shove aside members of those species by throwing their wings up and taking a step or two forward. At a close look, Surfbirds can be seen to have unscuted legs, the texture instead seeming thoroughly and finely pebbled. "Aphriza" is from the Greek, meaning sea foam. Sweetness.
Citation: Personal Experience. I observe this occasionally, confident.
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|David Fix added a note to Surfbird Notes||7/03/2011 at 3:38PM|