August 26, 2014
Spotted Sandpiper Spotted
The Spotted Sandpiper is primarily terrestrial, often walking along shorelines. It sometimes perches in trees or on poles, especially while on lookout with chicks. We have seen the Sandpiper walking around in the large lily pads on Sapsucker Pond. The birds frequently teeter, an up-and-down bobbing of entire body in the manner of a teeter-totter or seesaw, while walking or standing still. Teetering increases in frequency when the bird is nervous or agitated and ceases with alarm, courtship, and aggression. The function of teetering has not been determined. The Spotted Sandpiper occasionally swims while feeding on the surface. They can also dive shallowly and swim underwater, powered by wings and feet, to escape predators or to avoid harassment from other birds, especially Common Grackle and Red-winged Blackbird.