Living Bird Magazine
Purple SandpiperCalidris maritima
- ORDER: Charadriiformes
- FAMILY: Scolopacidae
A stout shorebird, the Purple Sandpiper breeds in the tundra and winters along rocky shores of the Atlantic Coast. Despite its name, it appears mostly slate-gray in winter, with only a faint purplish gloss, and shows no purple at all in breeding plumage.More ID Info
- Correlimos Oscuro (Spanish)
- Bécasseau violet (French)
- Cool Facts
- The Purple Sandpiper has the northernmost winter range of any shorebird.
- At Svalbard, an archipelago north of Scandinavia, the male Purple Sandpiper was found to be primarily responsible for parental care of hatchlings. In other shorebird species, parental care mostly by males is often associated with polyandry (one female with several mates), but the Purple Sandpiper is evidently monogamous (one mate only), with a long-term pair bond.
- Purple Sandpipers breeding in high-arctic Canada may migrate through Greenland and Iceland and winter in Europe.