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Sanderlings / © Bryan Pfeiffer

Sanderlings / © Bryan Pfeiffer

IF YOU’VE READ Solving Shorebirds, perhaps you’re ready for my Shorebird Challenge. Actually, if you’re new to plovers and sandpipers, this challenge may be difficult. That’s because bills aren’t in play in each of these six quiz photos.

The challenge starts easy and gets progressively worse, er, I mean tougher. This is an open-book test – you’re free to use your field guide. Take your time; take a deep breath.

Click on any image for an answer, which includes bills in some shots. Then click on the answer image to jump back up to the quiz. Click back-and-forth all you want. I’ll  add a few more photos soon.


1: No hints on this one.


2: At a pond in Berlin, Vermont, on May 9, 2012.


3: High Island, Texas, on April 28, 2010. What gorgeous flanks!


4: Cape Cod on August 25, 2009. Your hint is below.


4: Your hint.

5: No hint on this one

5: No hint on this one; name every species. Cape Cod on August 25, 2008.

6: No hint (to make this one the most difficult)

6: No hint (to make this one the most difficult).


1: Black-necked Stilt

1: Black-necked Stilt

2: Solitary Sandpiper

2: Solitary Sandpiper

3: Long-billed Dowitcher

3: Long-billed Dowitcher


4: Short-billed Dowitcher and Hudsonian Godwit


4: Lesser Yellowlegs, Short-billed Dowitcher, Hudsonian Godwit

5: White-rumped Sandpipers and Semipalmated Sandpipers

5: White-rumped Sandpipers and Semipalmated Sandpipers

6: Short-billed Dowitcher

6: Short-billed Dowitcher

  1. Bruzote says:

    This is hard. I think I’ll take a break and learn to ID sparrows.

  2. bill says:

    thanks, very informative

  3. Christine says:

    That was fun, but I flunked!

  4. me says:

    I guess this all means that we just need to go find some more.

  5. Emily says:

    Excellent photography, as always and such great information on shorebirds. I thank thee, Bryan the natural educator of all things nature.

  6. Rick says:

    Most fun I had all day! Thanks!


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