Least sandpiper, with pop can
At Oyster Bay Park, just south of Campbell River, the trail passes a smallish bay, mud flats at low tide. Along the shore, around sunset, we met this Least Sandpiper, foraging among the rotting seaweeds for beach hoppers. We stood still while it walked towards us and passed a few metres from our feet, quite unafraid.
It was incredibly small; USGeological Survey gives its length as 4.75 inches, about midway between a chickadee and a bushtit, but with a fair proportion of its length used up by the beak.
This surprised me: from Wikipedia,
They nest on the ground near water. The female lays 4 eggs in a shallow scrape lined with grass and moss. Both parents incubate; the female leaves before the young birds fledge and sometimes before the eggs hatch. The young birds feed themselves and are able to fly within two weeks of birth.