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 foraging Solitary Sandpiper 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.