New Mexico Birds: Charadriiformes


Birds are organized alphabetically by family, genus, and species. Hover over a photo series to control the images.

Charadriidae: Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)

When a possible predator approaches a killdeer's nest, the bird will pretend to be injured (and therefore and easy meal) as it lures the predator away from the next. One of my photos shows that behavior.


Laridae: Ring-Billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)

The best place to see these winter visitors to Albuquerque is on the Rio Grande just south of the old and new Alameda Bridges. My photos include "first winter" ring-billed gulls, which have some splotchy brown on the wings and tail and a bill that looks pinker when compared to nearby fully adult gulls.


Recurvirostridae: American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana)


Scolopacidae: Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius)


Scolopacidae: White-Rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis)


Scolopacidae: Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri)


Scolopacidae: Wilson's Snipe (Gallinago delicata)

When a Wilson's snipe sits still, its plumage makes for highly effective camouflage. It may draw your attention by bobbing up and down as it hunts in the mud next to a stream or irrigation drain. The long beak allows it to probe deep into the mud for food.


Scolopacidae: Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca)

One distinguishing trait of the greater yellowlegs (as opposed to the lesser ditto) is a beak that is much longer than the head and that is slightly upturned at the end.


Scolopacidae: Solitary Sandpiper (Tringa solitaria)

As my Sibley guide admits, the Solitary Sandpiper "resembles a miniature yellowlegs." Note how this bird's upper half is darker, but with obvious white spots, and how the white eye ring stands out in the darker head.