Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Scolopacidae
Genus: Calidris
Species: C. × paramelanotos
Binomial name: Calidris × paramelanotos
Common name: Cox's Sandpiper

A Cox's Sandpiper one of the rarest birds in the world. It was photographed late November 2016 by Mike Ashbee at Lake Ellesmere in Canterbury. It was the first time that this bird has been seen in New Zealand. It is so rare that it is suggested that there may be only one or two alive at any one moment. This is because Cox's Sandpipers ("Calidris" × paramelanotos) is not a distinct species; it is a hybrid between a male Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos) and a female Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea). First discovered in Australia in the 1950s, it was originally described as a species new to science and named after Australian ornithologist John B. Cox. However, it was later found to be a hybrid. Most if not all birds found to date are males, in accord with Haldane's rule.

Cox's sandpipers are similar in size and shape to pectoral sandpipers. The bill is fairly long, blackish and slightly drooping, sometimes with a yellowish base; the legs are dull brownish-green in colour. The birds' wings at rest extend just slightly beyond the tail.

This rare copyrighted photo was taken late November 2016 by Mike Ashbee at Lake Ellesmere in Canterbury, New Zealand.
Cox's Sandpiper.jpg

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: