Documentation of Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Observer Information

Reporter:  Peter Gent  55 S. 35th St.,   BOULDER, CO  80305-5524
Other Observers:  Many other observers.

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Buff-breasted Sandpiper
First Date/Time:  9/10/2022 11:30:00 AM
Last Date/Time:  9/12/2022 4:30:00 PM
Duration (total time in view):  3 hours
County:  Boulder
Specific Location:  Lagerman Reservoir and the Swede Lakes
Number:  1
Age:  Immature
Sex:  Unknown
Plumage:  Transitional


Shoreline of a moderate sized reservoir.

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  10x binocs and 20-60x telescope.
Distance:  40 yards at closest.
Light:  Cloudy on 9/10/22 but sunny on 9/11/22 and 9/12/22.

Description of the Bird

A smallish shorebird that was a little larger than the many Baird's Sandpipers that were present. A buffy head and upper chest with a dark eye and a prominent light tan complete eyering. Short, thin dark bill and longish yellow legs. The belly was white. The lower neck and the back had a scaly pattern with the feathers fringed in white, which is why I think it was a juvenile bird.  The bird often foraged well away from the water's edge on the drier parts of the shore which had quite a lot of vegetation.

Similar Species Discussion

Baird's Sandpipers were smaller with black legs. Not so buffy around the head and upper chest. 

Pectoral Sandpipers were larger with streaking on the upper chest down to a distinct demarcation line with white below. Had an eyeline and some yellow in the bill.   

Resources Used

iBird pro app on phone plus Sibley and National Geographic field guides.

Previous Experience

Have seen this species several times in fall in Colorado and a few times in spring in Texas. Very familiar with the other sandpipers including Baird's and the other peeps, and Pectoral Sandpiper.


Review of photos

Materials Available

Photographer: Kevin Rutherford.

Photos |


Date Documentation Submitted

9/12/2022 9:21:00 PM
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Location Map

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