Pectoral Sandpiper Life History


Habitat GrasslandsBreeds in wet coastal tundra. Migrates and winters in wet meadows, mudflats, flooded fields, and shores of ponds and pools.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Ground

Nesting Facts
Condition at Hatching:Active and covered with down.
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Behavior ProbingBack to top


Conservation DecliningPectoral Sandpiper were abundant in the 19th century, but populations were markedly reduced by market hunting. There is little information on current population trends, though numbers appear to be declining. In many migration surveys, these birds occur in vegetated habitats where they can be difficult to detect, and variable numbers are often recorded. However, overall, counts have declined since the early 1980s. A 2012 study estimates a North American population of 1.6 million. Pectoral Sandpiper are on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List, which lists bird species that are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered without conservation action. Back to top


Andres, B. A., P. A. Smith, R. I. G. Morrison, C. L. Gratto-Trevor, S. C. Brown and C. A. Friis. (2012a). Population estimates of North American shorebirds, 2012. Wader Study Group Bulletin 119 (3):178-194.

Farmer, Adrian, Richard T. Holmes and Frank A. Pitelka. (2013). Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2015.2. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2015.

North American Bird Conservation Initiative. (2014). The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

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