Western Sandpiper

Calidris mauri




Sandpipers, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Buff marked with red brown spots.

Number of Eggs:

3 - 5

Incubation Days:

18 - 21

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

Slightly elevated on moist or dry tundra.

Nest Material:

Lined with leaves, grass, and lichens.





Western Sandpiper: Small sandpiper with chestnut-brown crown and ear coverts, scaled upperparts and white underparts dotted with rows of dark chevrons. Head is streaked with brown wash on face. Bill is dark and slightly curved down at tip. Thin white stripes are visible on dark wings in flight. Legs and feet are black with partial webbing between toes. Sexes are similar. Female is larger and has a longer bill with a more drooping tip. Winter adult has scaled pale gray upperparts and white underparts.

Range and Habitat

Western Sandpiper: This species breeds in extreme northern and western Alaska. It spends winters mainly along the coasts from British Columbia, Washington, and Virginia southward to South America and throughout Mexico and the West Indies. Its referred habitats include shores, mudflats, grassy pools, and wet meadows.

Breeding and Nesting

Western Sandpiper: Three to five red brown-spotted, buff eggs are laid in a grass-lined depression on either wet or dry tundra. Incubation ranges from 18 to 21 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Western Sandpiper: Their diet consists of freshwater benthic invertebrates and marine benthic invertebrates, primarily arthropods, polychaete annelids and bivalve mollusks. They probe mudflats and are also frequently found foraging in shallow intertidal pools. They feed either by pecking or probing.


Western Sandpiper: Call is a soft "cheep" or "kreep."

Similar Species

Western Sandpiper: Least Sandpiper is browner, has yellow legs (unless stained by mud), and slightly decurved bill.


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

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X