Foraging Solitary Sandpiper in Montana

Foraging Solitary SandpiperForaging Solitary Sandpiper – Nikon D7100, f8, 1/1250, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

On my recent trip to Idaho and Montana I was delighted to photograph a Solitary Sandpiper foraging in a farm pond in Beaverhead County, MT. Solitary Sandpipers are not that common in that area, in fact on the range map found here they are outside of the normal migration range. These shorebirds winter in the Caribbean, Central and South America and breed primarily in bogs and northern forests in Canada and Alaska.

An interesting fact about Solitary Sandpipers is that they nest in abandoned nests in trees that were built by other birds, this is a unique behavior among shorebirds.

This Solitary Sandpiper and a Spotted Sandpiper were foraging in the same pond, the Spotted Sandpiper was quite defensive of its foraging territory and attempted to chase off the Solitary Sandpiper several times.


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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. Left my iPad in Bountiful, so I’m catching up on email on my wife’s laptop. This image is simply wonderful and looks beautiful in widescreen.

  2. I had mentally composed the comments to type, but Lois and Patty beat me to it. I will add, being able to see the bottom of the pond.

  3. Wonderful wonderful reflection and love those water droplets!!

  4. Really like this photo.

  5. Great reflection! Beautiful photo :)

  6. What a beautiful,beautiful shot!!! Love it!!! The bird itself, the reflection, the swirl of the water and the spot on composition!!!

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