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Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Silhouette SandpipersSandpipers
Buff-breasted SandpiperCalidris subruficollis
  • ORDER: Charadriiformes
  • FAMILY: Scolopacidae

Basic Description

The slender Buff-breasted Sandpiper, with its warm tones, neat streaking, and wide-eyed expression, is one of the most delicately beautiful of the shorebirds. On the High Arctic breeding grounds, males erupt into an ebullient display with wings raised over the head, bill pointed to the sky, and breast puffed out to extraordinary dimensions. Unlike most shorebirds, Buff-breasted Sandpipers forage in dry, grassy habitats, not wetlands. Sadly, extensive loss of grasslands along its migration route has contributed to heavy population declines.

More ID Info
image of range map for Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Look for Buff-breasted Sandpipers during spring and fall migration, especially in the center of the continent. Scan carefully across pale dry fields for this pale brown bird, preferably with a spotting scope if you have one or can borrow a look from a fellow birder. Ideal places to look include sod farms, plowed fields, harvested potato fields, and shortgrass prairies. Look for them among American Golden-Plovers and Baird’s, Pectoral, and Upland Sandpipers.

Other Names

  • Correlimos Canelo (Spanish)
  • Bécasseau roussâtre (French)
  • Cool Facts