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Upland Sandpiper

Bartramia longicauda ORDER: CHARADRIIFORMES FAMILY: SCOLOPACIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A shorebird of grasslands, not shores, the Upland Sandpiper inhabits native prairie and other open grassy areas in North America. Once abundant in the Great Plains, it has undergone steady population declines since the mid-19th century, because of hunting and loss of habitat.

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At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
11–12.6 in
28–32 cm
Wingspan
18.5 in
47 cm
Weight
3.4–8 oz
97–226 g
Other Names
  • Bartramian Sandpiper, Upland Plover (English)
  • Maubèche des champs (French)
  • Batitú, Zarapito ganga (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The Upland Sandpiper begins southward migration unusually early, beginning in mid-July. It spends up to eight months of the year in its winter home in South America, during the austral summer.
  • In several northeastern states, the majority of nesting Upland Sandpipers live on the grounds of airports.
  • Upland Sandpiper pairs scrape out multiple depressions in the ground, but use only one for their actual nest.

Habitat


Grassland

Native prairie and other dry grasslands, including airports and some croplands.

Food


Insects

Mostly insects, including weevils and other beetles, grasshoppers, and crickets. Also some weed seeds.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
2–7 eggs
Egg Description
Buff with dark spotting.
Condition at Hatching
Downy and active, capable of leaving nest and feeding themselves almost immediately after hatching.
Nest Description

Scrape in the ground; may be completely unlined, or built up with leaves and twigs.

Nest Placement

Ground

Behavior


Ground Forager

Feeds while walking along the ground.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Once very abundant and widespread within its range, the Upland Sandpiper is now uncommon, and continues to show alarming population declines. The species was once prized as a delicacy, both for its flesh and its eggs; hunting continued until well after the passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty in 1918. Hunting in the West Indies remains a conservation concern. Conversion of native grasslands to croplands in both North and South America has also caused populations to fall.

Credits

  • Houston, C. S., and D. E. Bowen, Jr. 2001. Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda). In The Birds of North America, No. 580 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Range Map Help

Upland Sandpiper Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

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