Wood Sandpiper: Medium-sized, long-legged sandpiper with dark gray-brown upperparts and breast heavily marked with white spots and notches. Underparts are white; legs usually green, but may be yellow and lead to confusion with Lesser Yellowlegs. Underwings pale gray; rump is white with black-barred tail. Sexes are similar. Juvenile resembles adult but has warm brown wash and buff spots on the upperparts.
Range and Habitat
Wood Sandpiper: Breeds across northern Europe and Asia; it winters in equatorial areas stretching from Africa to Asia. Found on the Aleutian Islands of Alaska during spring migration, and occasionally lingers in the area to breed. Has been recorded in British Columbia and northeastern North America.
Breeding and Nesting
Wood Sandpiper: Breeds in northern bogs and flooded forests. Nests built on ground amid dense vegetation or will use old thrush nests in trees. Lays three to four light green to white eggs that are marked with red brown. Both sexes incubate eggs for 22 to 23 days. Female departs soon after chicks hatch, while male tends chicks until they fly at 30 days.
Foraging and Feeding
Wood Sandpiper: Favors swampy freshwater habitats and flooded fields where it strides actively with its distinctive teetering gait searching for a wide variety of insects and other invertebrates. Mainly finds food visually and pecks items from surfaces, but will probe and even submerge its head in water trying to catch prey underwater.
Wood Sandpiper: Loud, sharp series of 3 or more whistles.
Wood Sandpiper: Green Sandpiper has dark wing underwings. Solitary Sandpiper has dark wing linings and dark stripe down center of tail. Lesser Yellowlegs is larger and taller with brighter orange legs and a less obvious eyeline.