This alert Spotted Sandpiper was photographed at Fort De Soto County Park in January of 2009 as it walked down some rip rap towards the water. The tide was low that day and it exposed oysters that had attached to the rip rap and the sandpiper hurried around foraging for prey in the nooks and crannies of the seawall. Looking at the shorebird in this image might make a person wonder why it is named a Spotted Sandpiper and that is because this bird is in nonbreeding plumage where they show very few, if any, spots during the winter. They do get spots during the breeding season.
When Spotted Sandpipers walk or forage they bounce up and down and their tails teeter which has earned them the nick name of “teeter-tail”. I just call them bouncy butts. Chicks teeter not long after they hatch, the reason for the teetering is unknown.
There have already been reports of Spotted Sandpipers this year in southwestern Utah and a few that are here in the Salt Lake area which means I will now be keeping an eye out for these bouncy shorebirds. I adore them.
Life is good.