Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Calidris subruficollis

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Sandpipers, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Code 4

BBSA

Code 6

TRYSUB

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Near Threatened

The Buff-breasted Sandpiper has a range of nearly 600,000 square kilometers. This includes dry tundra with little vegetation in northern Alaska, northern Canada, and a small area of eastern Siberia. It winters in grassland habitats in parts of southern Bolivia and Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and northern Argentina, and also occurs as a vagrant to Europe. This species was nearly hunted to extinction during the 19th century and has yet to fully recover. Although the exact threats to this species have yet to be determined, pollution and habitat degradation are believed to factors. It has an estimated population of 16,000-84,000 individuals, and a conservation rating of Near Threatened.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Buff-breasted Sandpiper: This medium-sized sandpiper has a buff wash over the entire body except for the white vent. It has black-spotted and streaked upperparts, slightly scaled underparts, a white eye ring, black bill and yellow legs. It feeds mostly on insects. It has a swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. It shows white wing linings in flight. The sexes are similar.

 

Range and Habitat

Buff-breasted Sandpiper: Breeds in extreme northern Alaska and western Canadian Arctic regions, migrating through the Midwest and occurring rarely on the Atlantic or Pacific coasts. Preferred habitats include grasslands and prairies, plowed fields, turf farms, wet rice fields; nests on Arctic tundra.

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Buff-breasted Sandpiper SONGS AND CALLS

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"Pr-r-r-reet"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • During the late 1800s and early 1900s, this was an abundant shorebird, with population estimates ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions. By the 1920s widespread market hunting had decimated their numbers, resulting in near extinction.
  • The Buff-breasted Sandpiper is sometimes referred to as a "grasspiper," because of its preference for grassy areas over the coastal mudflats favored by most shorebirds.
  • They are the only species of North American shorebird that exhibits a lek mating system, in which males defend territories for the sole purpose of performing displays to attract females; females do not receive any resources from males, nor do males aid in parental care in any way.
  • A group of sandpipers has many collective nouns, including a "bind", "contradiction", "fling", "hill", and "time-step" of sandpipers.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

RANGE MAP HAWAII

About this Hawaii Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Hawaiian island.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Chris Vest

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Eye ringX
The circle around the eye formed of feathers that are a different color from the rest of the face.
VentX
Birds do not have two separate cavities for excrement and reproduction like humans do. In birds, there is one single entrance/exit that suits both functions called the vent, cloaca or anus.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X