Sometimes described as a feathered mouse, this is the smallest of the
shorebirds. In all plumages, it is browner than other calidrine sandpipers and has short,
dull greenish-yellow to bright yellow legs and a black, somewhat downcurved bill. In
breeding plumage, a thin white V may be apparent on the mantle. They are often
seen feeding in a scrunched-down position in the upper vegetated portions
along the edges of wetlands, rather than on open mudflats with other calidrine sandpipers.
Like other peeps (the small, confusing Calidris sandpipers), Least
Sandpipers can be difficult to distinguish. However, their yellow legs, small size and
overall browner coloration help single them out from larger sandpipers.
common throughout North America, Least Sandpipers are often encountered while looking for
shorebirds. They breed in a broad band throughout the subarctic and boreal regions of
northern North America and winter in northern South America.