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GALLERIES > BIRDS > CHARADRIIFORMES > SCOLOPACIDAE > WHITE-WINGED SANDPIPER [Prosobonia ellisi]


White-winged Sandpiper Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

The White-winged Sandpiper, Prosobonia ellisi, is an extinct member of the large wader family Scolopacidae that was endemic to the Moorea in French Polynesia, where the locals called it te-te in the Tahitian language.

Two specimens were collected by William Anderson between September 30 and October 11, 1777, during Captain Cook's third voyage, but both have since disappeared and the bird became extinct in the nineteenth century. The only hint at its former existence are Anderson's notes and the descriptions based on them, a painting by William Ellis (linked below) and a plate by J. Webber which apparently depicts the other specimen.

These show a somewhat lighter brown bird than the Tahiti specimen, with no white spot behind the eye, a more conspicuous light rusty eye-ring, two white wing-bars and rusty secondary and primary coverts; one of Latham's specimens had yellow legs and feet. The exact relationships between the Moorea bird and the Tahitian Sandpiper are still not fully resolved. See the latter species' article for more on this topic.





                                     



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