Surfbird

Calidris virgata

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Sandpipers, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Code 4

SURF

Code 6

APHVIR

ITIS

Egg Color:

Buff with red brown spots



Number of Eggs:

4



Incubation Days:

22 - 24



Egg Incubator:

Both sexes



Nest Location:

On ground.



Nest Material:

Lined with lichen, leaves, and moss.



Migration:

Migratory



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General

Surfbird: Medium-sized sandpiper with dark gray upperparts marked with rufous, white rump, and white underparts marked with distinct black chevrons. Upper breast, head, and neck are heavily streaked. Wings are dark with bold white stripes visible in flight. Tail is white with a black triangular tip visible in flight. Sexes are similar. Winter adult has dark gray upperparts, head and breast, distinct white eyebrows and throat, and pale chevrons on white belly.

Range and Habitat

Surfbird: This species breeds in rocky mountain tundra habitats throughout much of Alaska and the western Yukon Territory. Outside of its breeding season, it can be found on rocky shores along most of the Pacific coast, from southeastern Alaska and British Columbia south to Tierra del Fuego in southern Chile.

Breeding and Nesting

Surfbird: Four buff eggs spotted with red brown are laid on the ground in a rocky, natural depression lined with leaves, lichens, and moss. Both parents incubate the eggs.

Foraging and Feeding

Surfbird: Feeds mostly on insects during the breeding season; during the rest of the year eats mussels, limpets, snails, barnacles, and other invertebrates.

Vocalization

Surfbird: Utters a shrill "kee-wee" in flight. Sometimes gives a series of calls "tee-tee-teet", "krrree, krrree", and "tew, tew."

Similar Species

Surfbird: Black Turnstone, Wandering Tattler, and the other "rock-pipers" have longer bills without pale bases.

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X