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Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 21:24 EDT

Wandering Tattler

The Wandering Tattler (Tringa incana (formerly Heteroscelus incanus)), is a species of wading bird found in Alaska and northwestern Canada in summer. It nests in rocky areas along mountain streams. At other times, it is found on rocky islands in the southwest Pacific and on rocky coasts from California to South America. Some are found as far south as Australia.

It is a medium-sized bird similar in appearance to the closely related Gray-tailed Tattler. It is unique for having an unpatterned, grayish wing and back, and scaly breast pattern extending onto the belly in breeding plumage. It has a stocky body with gray upperparts, underwings, face and neck and a white belly. The legs are short and dark yellow. The bill is dark gray. Breeding adults are heavily barred underneath.

The diet of the Wandering Tattler consists of aquatic invertebrates such as crustaceans and marine worms. They will also take in insects during the breeding season. While wading, this bird forages actively, making jerky bobbing movements. The call is a rapid trill of accelerating notes of decreasing volume. The female lays 4 olive colored eggs in a shallow nest depression. Both sexes incubate the eggs and help feed the young. The young are soon able to forage for themselves.

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Wandering Tattler