English and Scientific names:

Curlew Sandpiper

Calidris ferruginea

Number of individuals: 

1 [possibly female by long bill] in alternate plumage


Locality: LOUISIANA: 

Acadia Parish




Specific Locality:

Toups Road, about 1 mile West of Hwy 35


Date(s) when observed:

May 8, 2005


Time(s) of day when observed:  

About 10:30 AM

Reporting observer and address:

Paul Conover

Lafayette, LA 

Other observers who also identified the bird(s):

John Conover


Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light):

The lighting in general was fine, sunny and a little hot, but not to the point of distorting color. Also, The bird moved around quite a bit and that allowed us looks at the bird in every position relative to the sun. 

Optical equipment: 

Kowa 20-60 scope, Zeiss 10x40 binos

Distance to bird(s): 

70-200 yds

Duration of observation:

perhaps 30 minutes total


Rice fields, with emergent rice a few inches tall, and scattered open patches of shallow water.

Behavior of bird: 

Feeding actively in rice, flying around fields by itself or with entire flock as the flock spooked. It moved around quite a bit on its own, and joined in with bunched flocks, where it rested and preened.


A medium-sized Calidris sandpiper similar in body bulk but shorter-legged than Stilt Sandpiper. Bill long, black, thin and gradually downcurved. Bill longer than head.


General plumage color reddish. Vent area whitish, and face with a small white narrowly area around base of bill. Mantle feathers dark, blackish perhaps, with broad pale fringes at the tips producing a scaled appearance. Wing coverts of upperwing plain, grayish. Underwings bright white, with hint of dark at tips of primary coverts and on trailing edge of wings. Upperwings with distinct white wingstripe.


Rump white, tail dark. In flight, the white rump and wingstripe contrated sharply with dark tail, mantle and upperwings



Not heard

Similar species:

None close in this plumage.


Dowitchers are colored somewhat like Curlew Sandpiper, but have straighter bills, are stockier and have different feeding styles. Dunlin and Stilt Sanpiper somewhat similar in size and shape but coloration different.


This bird was observed alongside all of the species above.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Yes, video primarily.

Previous experience with this species: 

3rd one, I believe, all in alternate plumage.  

Identification aids:


This description is written from: 

Memory, and from watching the video and stills taken from it.


Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain: 




Paul Conover

Date and time: 

May 13, 2005