Solitary Sandpiper

Tringa solitaria




Sandpipers, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Olive marked with brown.

Number of Eggs:

4 - 5

Incubation Days:

23 - 24

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

Nest is 4 to 40 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Abandoned nests lined with fine material.





Solitary Sandpiper: Medium-sized sandpiper with pale-spotted dark brown back and rump and white underparts with streaks on neck and sides. Head is dark and eye ring is bold white. Tail is black with conspicuous black and white barred edges. Bill, legs and feet are olive-green. Winter adult has more gray upperparts, head and neck. Upperparts are less spotted; clear white ring. Sexes are similar; female is slightly larger. Juvenile breast is washed dark, often forming lateral patches; has pale spots on upperparts; clear white eye ring.

Range and Habitat

Solitary Sandpiper: This species breeds in wooded northland regions of Canada and Alaska. It spends winters from southern Florida, central Mexico, and the West Indies south to central South America. Its preferred habitats include swampy margins of brackish pools, freshwater ponds, and woodland streams.

Breeding and Nesting

Solitary Sandpiper: Four to five olive eggs marked with brown are laid in an abandoned Rusty Blackbird, Bohemian Waxwing, Gray Jay, or American Robin nest; occasionally builds own cup-shaped nest. Incubation ranges from 23 to 24 days and is carried out by the female. Young fly at 17 to 20 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Solitary Sandpiper: Their diet includes mostly insects, supplemented by small crustaceans, spiders, mollusks, worms and frogs. It forages in shallow water with its pliable, sensitive-tipped bill; it wades to breast level, and actively picks and jabs at prey. It prefers small, stagnant pools of water, ditches that cut through marshes, and wet depressions in meadows.


Solitary Sandpiper: Gives a very hard "plik" when alarmed on the ground; utters a rising "peet-weet" in flight. Display song is a series of short phrases similar to flight call.

Similar Species

Solitary Sandpiper: Lesser Yellowlegs has longer, yellow legs and white rump. Stilt Sandpiper has white rump.


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

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The upper front part of a bird.
Eye ringX
The circle around the eye formed of feathers that are a different color from the rest of the face.
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X