Semipalmated Sandpiper

Calidris pusilla

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Sandpipers, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Code 4

SESA

Code 6

CALPUS

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Near Threatened

The Semipalmated Sandpiper has a large breeding range, estimated globally at 1,220,000 square kilometers. This includes wet sedge and tundra near wetlands in Alaska, northern Canada, and parts of eastern Siberia. It winters in estuaries and other coastal habitats in southern Mexico and Central America south to Peru and Brazil, and has an estimated population of 2.2 million. This species is threatened by hunting on its wintering grounds, pollution, and possible over-harvesting of Horshoe Crab eggs that act as an important food source for this species during migration. Because of these threats and a long-term decline in its population, the Semipalmated Sandpiper has a conservation rating of Near Threatened.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Semipalmated Sandpiper: This small sandpiper has scaled gray-brown upperparts, white underparts and fine streaks on the breast and sides. It has a short, stout, straight black bill and black legs and feet. It feeds on insects, worms, small mollusks and crustaceans. Swift flight on rapidly beating wings. Sexes are similar.

 

Range and Habitat

Semipalmated Sandpiper: Breeds in lower Arctic regions from western Alaska to Labrador. Migrates through central North America to the Atlantic coast to reach its wintering grounds, which extend from the extreme southern U.S. to the Caribbean Islands and South America. Preferred habitats include shorelines and mudflats.

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Semipalmated Sandpiper SONGS AND CALLS

Semipalmated Sandpiper A1

Alarm calls as a bird flushes.

Semipalmated Sandpiper A2

Song during a display flight.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"Churk", "churp", "kee-kee-kee-kee"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Semipalmated Sandpiper is perhaps the most numerous shorebird in North America, sometimes occurring by the thousands during migration.
  • The word "semipalmated," referring to the birds' toes, means "half-webbed." Actually the toes are only slightly lobed at their bases, but they do help the birds to walk on mud without sinking.
  • They are often found on mudflats feeding together with their close relatives, the Least and Western sandpipers.
  • 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.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X