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Semipalmated Sandpiper


IUCN Conservation Status: Near Threatened

An abundant small shorebird, the Semipalmated Sandpiper breeds in the Arctic and winters along the coasts of South America.

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Typical Voice

Adult Description

Small sandpiper. Short neck. Moderately long bill, may droop slightly at tip. Moderately long legs. Black center of rump and tail. Legs black. Back gray-brown. Chest usually only lightly marked. Short webbing between toes (hard to see).

Immature Description

Juvenile similar to adult, but with more scaly pattern on back.

Range Map Help

Semipalmated Sandpiper Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Field MarksHelp

  • Breeding adult

    Semipalmated Sandpiper

    Breeding adult
    • © Jim Paris, Maurice River, New Jersey, May 2010
  • Adult nonbreeding

    Semipalmated Sandpiper

    Adult nonbreeding
    • © Rob Melone, Sandy Hook, New Jersey, September 2013
  • Juvenile

    Semipalmated Sandpiper

  • Juvenile

    Semipalmated Sandpiper

    • © Ryan Schain, Newburyport, Massachusetts, August 2013

Similar Species

  • Western Sandpiper very similar, but usually has longer, more drooping bill.
  • Least Sandpiper has a more reddish back, more distinct markings on the chest, and yellow legs.

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    All About Birds blog, First-Ever World Shorebirds Day Highlights Need for Conservation, September 5, 2014.