Wandering Tattler

Tringa incana




Sandpipers, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Olive or green marked with brown.

Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:

23 - 25

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On rocky ground.

Nest Material:

Lined with twigs and other vegetation.





Wandering Tattler: A medium-sized sandpiper with solid gray upperparts and heavily black-and-white barred underparts; dark barring on central undertail coverts. Face is finely streaked and eye line is dark with a short white stripe above. Legs are short, thick and yellow. Sexes are similar. Female is larger. Winter adult has plain dark gray upperparts, neck, breast and flanks; supercilium is only clear above lores. Juveniles are similar to winter adult, but with pale fringes on the feathers of the upperparts.

Range and Habitat

Wandering Tattler: Breeds in mountainous areas of Alaska and northwestern British Columbia. Spends winters on Pacific coast from central California southward down the coast of Mexico. Found on rugged, rocky coastlines, jetties, and breakwaters, but during migration may be found on sandy beaches and coastal estuaries.

Breeding and Nesting

Wandering Tattler: Four olive or green eggs marked with brown are laid in a shallow cup of twigs and roots, built in a hollow among rocks or gravel. Incubation ranges from 23 to 25 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Wandering Tattler: Their diet includes Polychaete worms, mollusks, crustaceans, insects, amphipods, fish and various adult and larval flies. They pick up prey from the surface of moist and less frequently dry substrate. They forage by probing among the kelp and rocks of the outer coastal marine habitat. It occasionally wades in deep water, and may immerse its head completely to catch food.


Wandering Tattler: Clean, hollow whistles which are repeated rapidly in one pitch.

Similar Species

Wandering Tattler: Gray-tailed Tattler has fine dark gray bars on breast, flanks, and edge of undertail coverts, and no bars on belly.

Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The upper front part of a bird.
Eye lineX
The line of feathers just in front of and behind the eyes. It extends back from the posterior angle of the eye. This can be a useful trait used in identification in the field since it is very noticeable.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Also called the superciliary, it is the arch of feathers over the eye.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X