Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global citizen science platform
to discover, share and identify wildlife

Join Project Noah!

Surf Bird

Aphriza virgata

Description:

The surfbird (Aphriza virgata) is a small stocky wader in the family Scolopacidae. It is usually classified in a genus of its own. It was once considered to be allied to the turnstones, but more recent data suggests it is very close genetically to the red and great knots and should be included in Calidris.[2] Indeed, the great knot looks very much like a larger, longer-billed, and somewhat darker surfbird.

Habitat:

Half Moon Bay,place to be!!

Species ID Suggestions



Sign in to suggest organism ID

16 Comments

The MnMs
The MnMs 5 years ago

BTW: this "armchair tick" description of myself had me laughing fr hours last night..is the most hilariously ridiculous description I ever heard...I could imagine myself while scuba diving in the Philippines setting up my armchair, sitting down with scuba tanks and all, and then starting to take pictures...hahahaha!!!!...:-D
About tick: I like morcillas (blood sausages) so from that point of view I am considering the name :-P

The MnMs
The MnMs 5 years ago

Thanks Hema! Very nice spottings, by the way, keep going. I learn about California species from you, Jellis, Cindy, Stirred Mocha and the rest of you living in the area ;-)

Hema
Hema 5 years ago

Lenny, I feel that Project Noah is a great place to be and learn. Marta herself is a molecular cell biologist , a scientist. We all learn differently. Some like to discuss,some like to make silent observations. One way or the other, there is learning going on!!

Hema
Hema 5 years ago

Marta,your gracious presence is always welcome!

Hema
Hema 5 years ago

I am totally delited to see this bird. I would have never known what it is without this awesome PN community. Please accept my heartfelt thanks!

LennyWorthington
LennyWorthington 5 years ago

well done malcom another armchair tick

ForestDragon
ForestDragon 5 years ago

Nice find, Hema! I agree with Malcolm. The dark birds look like Surfbirds (Aphriza virgata), either juveniles and/or nonbreeding adults. Cool birds!

The MnMs
The MnMs 5 years ago

@Hema: the closest ID to your birdies is Aphriza virgata, as correctly suggested by Lenny Worthington. He removed it because he got irrititated at my ignorance in daring to say that they also looked alike Calidris maritima. I was just saying that they look alike but I was not questioning his expertise on the field. Simply I wanted help to figure out how can I tell them apart myself but this was apparently not well-received..in any case, take note of the species and thanks for sharing this pretty spotting with us ;-)

The MnMs
The MnMs 5 years ago

Lenny: This is why it would be nice that you help us here with your expertise directly instead of directing us to a guide. As other people has explained you Project Noah is about chatting together and getting to know the species we see in Nature and also each other. I see it this way and I love to learn from other people with more experience than me. I don´t know what do you mean by armchair birdwatcher. I go out to see birds as fara s my own job allows me which is not much unfortunately. I am not a birdwatcher by profession nor I intend to be one and if I was I would love to help others in a kind manner as I already try to do from my very little level of expertise.

LennyWorthington
LennyWorthington 5 years ago

Another armchair birdwatcher. You see Marta, when I made my first visit of 23 visits to the usa back in 1975 I had a peterson fieldguide (no vested interest)which was the only way then back out of the 21st century to identify birds.Now I have a Sibley (no vested interest) which is invaluable and costs less than 20 dollars.Anyway I have taken my CORRECT suggestion off and will leave to the armchair experts.Good luck with the I.D. By the way has anybody got the book dozen birding hotspots by a guy called George Harrison.Have a look inside and you will see a photo of three englishmen looking at the field guide (no vested interest) and yes you've guessed it lenny is there.Wow writing all that has taken some time ,must be nearly 22nd century
,

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 5 years ago

;-)

The MnMs
The MnMs 5 years ago

Thanks for the explanation Malcom! Is nice to count on your expertise. I will be posting a few similar ones later on. Keep an eye in case I place a mistaken ID and thanks again for all your help! ;-)

The MnMs
The MnMs 5 years ago

Looking better at the beak I can see the difference: it seems it is longer in Calidris maritima than in Aphriza so I guess that should be the criterium to tell them apart?

@Lenny, we are in the 21st century now and Project Noah is about identifying organisms in the field using mobile devices both to photograph them and to access the information on the world wide web, hence the use of links in the suggestion box to point users in the right direction. They can then call up a photograph on the web to compare with the real life organism on the spot.
@Marta, Purple Sandpipers are only found on the east coast of North America, these pictures were taken on the west coast so that is a highly unlikely species.
Surfbird is a good match in this case, see here http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/surfb....
The whitish bird is most likely either Sanderling or Dunlin, difficult to be certain from the amount which can be seen.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 5 years ago

Many users are photographing all sorts of wildlife Lenny and couldn't possibly afford a field guide to cover every subject. That's where a website like this offering a quick exchange of knowledge or ideas can help. Do you have some vested interest in that book? Also please provide reference links in the field provided with your suggestions. Thanks.

Hema
Spotted by
Hema

Half Moon Bay, California, USA

Spotted on Feb 4, 2015
Submitted on Feb 4, 2015

Related Spottings

Surfbird Surfbird Surfbird Surfbird

Nearby Spottings

Sanderling Black Turnstone Surf Scoter Black Bellied Plover

Reference