Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, contests and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Keys to identifying shorebirds

Shorebirds feeding patterns
These illustrations depict the typical movements of four types of shorebirds. Blue lines show the path of the bill tip as the bird forages. Clockwise from top right: yellowlegs, plover, dowitcher, and peep. Art by David Sibley
Start by learning to recognize the four distinct groups of beach-combers.
To access this content, you must purchase BirdWatching Membership.

Read our newsletter!

Sign up for our free e-newsletter to receive news, photos of birds, attracting and ID tips, and more delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up for Free
David Sibley

David Sibley

David Sibley writes the column “ID Toolkit” in every issue of BirdWatching. He published the Sibley Guide to Birds in 2000, the Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior in 2001, and Sibley’s Birding Basics in 2002. He is also the author of the Sibley Guide to Trees (2009), the Sibley Guide to Birds-Second Edition (2014), guides to birds of eastern and western North America (2016), and What It’s Like to Be a Bird (2020). He is the recipient of the American Birding Association’s Roger Tory Peterson Award for lifetime achievement in promoting the cause of birding and a recognition award from the National Wildlife Refuge System for his support of bird conservation.

David Sibley on social media