Baird's Sandpiper

Calidris bairdii




Sandpipers, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Pink to olive marked with dark brown.

Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On ground.

Nest Material:

No nest materials.





Baird's Sandpiper: Medium-sized sandpiper with long wings and short legs; scaled gray-brown upperparts and white underparts except for dark-spotted gray-brown breast. Crown, face and neck are buff with fine, dark brown streaks. Rump is white with dark central stripe extending through the center of gray-brown tail. When at rest, wings projects beyond the tail. Sexes are similar. Winter adult is grayer and has fewer streaks. Juvenile is similar to breeding adult but with scaled appearance on back highlighted by white-edged feathers.

Range and Habitat

Baird's Sandpiper: Breeds in the Arctic from eastern Siberia and Alaska to northwestern Greenland. Spends winters in South America, migrating mostly through the interior of North America; uncommon on Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Preferred habitats include freshwater marshes, riverbanks, and lakesides; less frequent on coastal and brackish marshes and adjacent grasslands.

Breeding and Nesting

Baird's Sandpiper: These sandpipers breed on the tundra. The male builds most of the nest lined with lichen, grass and leaves. The nest is built in a dry depression on the ground, often among rocks. Four dark brown-spotted pink to olive eggs are laid in a small hollow on the dry tundra. Both parents incubate the eggs for 22 days. The young fly in 16 to 20 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Baird's Sandpiper: Their diet consists primarily of insects, spiders and small crustaceans; they forage by picking food items off of relatively dry substrates such as baked mud, sand or grass. Their style of food capture varies. They mainly peck for food or less frequently probe. Baird's Sandpiper is less inclined to feed in water than other sandpipers.


Baird's Sandpiper: Call is a low, raspy "kreeep."

Similar Species

Baird's Sandpiper: Least Sandpiper is smaller and has yellow-green legs. Semipalmated Sandpiper has grayer breast. White-rumped Sandpiper has white rump.


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

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The upper front part of a bird.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
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