Purple Sandpiper -Calidris maritima

Purple Sandpiper -Calidris maritima

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
” The purple sandpiper (Calidris maritima) is a small shorebird. The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-colored waterside birds. The specific maritima is from Latin and means “of the sea,” from mare, “sea.”

Adults have short yellow legs and a medium thin dark bill with a yellow base. The body is dark on top with a slight purplish gloss and mainly white underneath. The breast is smeared with grey, and the rump is black. They measure 20–22 cm (7.9–8.7 in) in length and 42–46 cm (17–18 in) across the wings, and weight is from 50–105 g (1.8–3.7 oz)

Their breeding habitat is the northern tundra on Arctic islands in Canada and coastal areas in Greenland and northwestern Europe. They nest on the ground either elevated on rocks or in a lower damp location. The males make several scrapes; the female chooses one and lays 3 or 4 eggs. The male takes the primary responsibility for incubation and tends the chicks. The young feed themselves.

They are late migrants and move to rocky ice-free Atlantic coasts in winter. Most go no further south than North Carolina and northern Portugal. They are relatively gregarious, forming small flocks, often with ruddy turnstones. This species is tame and approachable.

These birds forage on rocky coasts, picking up food by sight. They mainly eat arthropods and mollusks, also some plant material.”

Although their status is that of a least concerned species, however, the number of individuals cited has been decreasing due to loss of habitat.

Purple Sandpiper -Calidris maritima

Each year, it is getting harder to locate the species and the locations that I have found them in the past.

Great Location

Columbia River Gorge Vista

The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is a beautiful location for photographers. There are stunning vistas, depending on the year wildflowers, waterfalls and it’s easy to visit both sides of the river in Oregon and Washington.

One site that is worth a visit is the Bonneville Hatchery. It is run by The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. They raise Chinook and Coho Salmon.

The display ponds are set up so you can feed large rainbow trout. The trout are not raised at the hatchery brought in for people’s enjoyment. One of the outdoor pawns have young white
sturgeon in it, and there is a viewing center we can view the sturgeon underwater. It also contains Herman the Sturgeon, who is approximately 10 feet long, 500 pounds and is over 45 years old.

White Sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) is North America’s largest fish. Their skeletons are made of cartilage and instead of scales that covered bony plates. The young white sturgeon feed on mollusks and small invertebrates and the adults feed primarily on fish.

Many species of birds can be found including birds of prey, songbirds, waterfowl, and wading birds.