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IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A stocky shorebird living among the wave-tossed rocks of the Pacific Coast, the Surfbird is rarely found away from the splash and spray of incoming waves. Only to breed does it leave the coast for the rocky mountain ridges of Alaska and the Yukon.


Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Stocky, medium-sized shorebird.
  • Short, stout bill, pale at base.
  • Legs yellow.
  • White tail tipped with broad black band.
  • White stripe out wing.
  • Rusty on back and breast spotted in breeding plumage.
  • All gray in nonbreeding plumage.

Immature Description

Resembles nonbreeding adult, but head streaked, breast finely barred, and with pale edges on back feathers.

Range Map Help

Surfbird Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Field MarksHelp

Similar Species

  • Wandering Tattler also all gray, but is thinner, has a longer, thinner bill, bobs its tail, and lacks white tail and wing stripe.
  • Black Turnstone has white back, dark legs, and dark head and chest.
  • Rock Sandpiper has longer, thinner, slightly drooped bill, dull legs, and white tail with black tip.



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