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Little Stint in Canada (1 Viewer)


New member
This is my first entry, so please excuse any errors. On July 31,2020 , I observed in Chase, British Columbia, Canada what I now believe are two potential Little Stints. One, I would classify as non-breeding and the other is confusing but has the double supercillium and train tracks on the mantle specific to a Little Stint Juvenile. I photo compared the juvenile to our familiar Least, Western and Semipalmated Sandpipers and Sanderlings but was not satisfied with them. Photo compared to Red-necked Stint which I am not familiar with and concluded Little Stint. The early date of June probably confuses the molt and makes it a more difficult id? The nonbreeding individual does not actually fit to me anything but Little Stint. I found the Little Stint blog on this site from 2007 which helped a lot and perhaps some of those oldtimers are still around to help with these two birds. Will attempt to attach one picture of each of them but have many more. Appreciate any discussion, as Stints would be rare for North America.


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Well-known member
I see a juv semipalmated sandpiper and a juv least sandpiper. The bill on the first bird is too thick and blunt to be a stint. Always great to post more pics though if you have them.


Maryland USA (he/him)
United States
Welcome, adupilka. I agree with HeadWest on Semipalmated Sandpiper and Least Sandpiper.

I assume the date is July 31?


New member
Thanks HeadWest and Microtus for the comments
Was confused with this site when I first approached it but very impressed with it as I get used to the details. Was not sure how many photos was acceptable.
My major concern was Semi and Least Sandpiper because of the similarities and not rare and I wanted to clarify in my mind if there was differences showing.
I extracted these photos from the videos I took.

I did not feel the "gist" that this was a Semi right from the start as there is a lot of semis right now around here and thought more perhaps Sanderling which I eliminated because this bird does have a back toe. I did eliminate Semi though on these photos of the feet which although never perfect to get a clear no webs, I felt these photos were clear enough as Semi usually show pretty strong webs.
On the juvenile/adult? (photo), I was concerned about Least because it also shows the rail track on mantle and similar color and pattern of scaps. It obviously did not have yellow legs but I did not want to depend entirely on that as I have been burnt before on light and shading. I eliminated Least because Stint tends to show a strong gray, basically unstreaked gap on the nape between the reddish cap and the reddish mantle. Least tends to be brownish/reddish and streaked in this area. Least tends to be very streaked on head, throat and shoulders. This bird had clear white throat and very limited streaking otherwise and especially shoulders. Also this bird shows the branched double supercillium which I could not find any similarity on any Least photos I checked. Because of the very few Little Stints in our and your neck of the woods , when I found this site I thought to check with those who see them regularily and that they would comment also. Sorry I tried everything but the I could not get the third photo to attach which showed a clearer photo of no web higher up in the air and could try later.


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tom baxter

Well-known member
The gray bird is not in non breeding plumage. The pale fringed coverts, scapulars and tertials make it a juvenile. A juvenile, or any age for that matter, of Little Stint in July/August would never appear monochromatically Gray like this individual. It is most definitely a juvenile Semipalmated Sandpiper.

The other bird looks a bit odd for Least Sandpiper, but I would still not call it a Little Stint because it looks wrong for that. The main thing that looks wrong for Least is the bill shape, which is interesting, but it is equally wrong for Little Stint. In addition, the proportion between the chest and rear end of the bird appears better for Least Sandpiper vs Little Stint, LESA being more tear drop shaped and LIST being more axe wedge shaped. Little Stint seems to have a more forward reaching gait that is hard to capture in photographs, but to the best of my ability is not apparent at all here either. I would not say I am 100% sure about this bird, but personally I cannot see a strong case for Little Stint, which needs a strong case anywhere in North America. It is also of importance to note that the degree of variability among individual shorebirds is immense. Odd balls of common species are exponentially more common than vagrants.
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