purple sandpiper

purple sandpiper defined in 1930 year

purple sandpiper - Purple Sandpiper;
purple sandpiper - Head and neck dusky brown tinged with grey; upper parts nearly black, with purple reflections; the feathers edged with ash; throat, neck, and breast greyish; below, white; legs and feet ochre- yellow. Length, eight and a quarter inches. In winter the upper parts are sooty and the breast dark ash-brown, with faint lines and mottlings.

The purple sandpiper is an inhabitant of the British coasts in autumn and winter, and is occasionally seen associating with dunlins on the sand and mud flats, and may readily be distinguished by its darker colour and its lumpier figure, caused by the thickness of its winter plumage. But its favourite haunts are rocky shores, where it feeds among the stranded seaweed on marine insects, small shrimps, and other crustaceans. It is, in fact, a sandpiper with the feeding habits of the turnstone. It is known to breed on the Faroes, where it nests on the fells and mountains and lays four eggs, pale green or olive, blotched with reddish brown, with purplish under-markings. Its eggs have never been found within the British Islands, but it is probable that a few pairs breed annually on some of the islands and on the mainland of Scotland. In its summer haunts in the arctic regions it is said to be the most abundant sandpiper. With us it is not a common species, and is seen in small flocks of half a dozen to a dozen birds.

near purple sandpiper in Knolik

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