Spotted Sandpiper

Actitis macularius

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Sandpipers, Phalaropes and Allies (Scolopacidae)

Code 4

SPSA

Code 6

ACTMAC

ITIS

  • wgba_banner
  • ibird_banner
  • journal_banner
1 2 3

ILLUSTRATION

ask community
Copyright © 2004 - 2014 Mitch Waite Group

PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Spotted Sandpiper is a small shorebird that may interbreed with its sister species, the Common Sandpiper. Preferred breeding habitats are found near fresh water bodies in Canada and the United States. During winter months, this species migrates to the southern United States and South America. These birds are rarely seen in Western Europe as well. Nests are built on the ground or water. Typical diets consist of insects, crustaceans and invertebrates. Food is either caught in-flight or foraged from the water and ground. The conservation rating for the Spotted Sandpiper is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Spotted Sandpiper: This medium-sized sandpiper has olive-brown upperparts, white underparts with bold black spots, white eyebrow, barred tail and dull yellow legs. Wings have white stripes visible in flight. Low direct flight; wings flap in shallow arcs, producing clipped, stiff wing beats on drooping wings. Feeds mainly on small invertebrates such as midges and mayflies. Sexes are similar.


Range and Habitat

Spotted Sandpiper: Breeds from northern Alaska and Canada across most of the continent to southern U.S. Resident along the Pacific coast south from British Columbia and winters across southern states south to South America. Preferred habitats include ponds, streams, and other waterways, both inland and along coasts.

whatbird search for your browser

SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"peet-weet"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Spotted Sandpiper is the most widespread breeding sandpiper in North America.
  • As they forage, they can be recognized by their constant nodding and teetering. It is sometimes called the "teeter-tail".
  • The function of their teetering motion has not been determined. Chicks teeter nearly as soon as they hatch. The teetering gets faster when the bird is nervous, but stops when the bird is alarmed, aggressive, or courting.
  • A group of sandpipers has many collective nouns, including a "bind", "contradiction", "fling", "hill", and "time-step" of sandpipers.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Spotted Sandpiper

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Chris Vest

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

.
UnderpartsX
Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.
UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
EyebrowX
Also called the supercilicum or superciliary it is the arch of feathers over each eye.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X