Lillian and Don Stokes Blog by Lillian Stokes since 2006
Shorebirds in general are difficult for me to ID - but according to the photo I would say it is probably robin-sized, standing upright (on the shore). It has a short tail with a small to medium sized head and a medium length bill that is slightly downcurved. Its body shape is plump and is heavy chested. And its legs are medium in length and thickness. I would take a guess and say its wings are possibly short and wide.
Good job on the description Mary! When describing the length of bills it is interesting to try and quantify the length relative to some other feature. We use the length of the head when the bird is viewed sideways. So, in this case, the length of this bird's bill is actually longer than the length of the head. As we say, birds "carry their own rulers." You can use comparison of inner proportions of the bird to quantify things.
This bird is a Dunlin. Memory device... D is for Dunlin and D is for the downcurved bill, a good field clue to the Dunlin.
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