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Solitary Sandpiper

Tringa solitaria ORDER: CHARADRIIFORMES FAMILY: SCOLOPACIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

The Solitary Sandpiper is commonly seen in migration along the banks of ponds and creeks. While not truly solitary, it does not migrate in large flocks the way other shorebirds do.

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
7.5–9.1 in
19–23 cm
Weight
1.1–2.3 oz
31–65 g
Other Names
  • Chevalier solitaire (French)
  • Chorlito solitario (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • Although the Solitary Sandpiper was first described by ornithologist Alexander Wilson in 1813, its nest was not discovered until 1903. Until that time, eggs and young of the Spotted Sandpiper were misidentified as those of the Solitary Sandpiper.
  • The Solitary Sandpiper lays its eggs in the tree nests of several different song birds, particularly those of the American Robin, Rusty Blackbird, Eastern Kingbird, Gray Jay, and Cedar Waxwing.
  • Of the world's 85 sandpiper species, only the Solitary Sandpiper and the Green Sandpiper of Eurasia routinely lay eggs in tree nests instead of on the ground.

Habitat


Marsh

Breeds in taiga, nesting in trees in deserted songbird nests. In migration and winter found along freshwater ponds, stream edges, temporary pools, flooded ditches and fields, more commonly in wooded regions, less frequently on mudflats and open marshes.

Food


Insects

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
3–5 eggs
Condition at Hatching
Downy and active, able to leave nest as soon as down dries.
Nest Placement

Tree

Behavior


Probing

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Solitary Sandpiper are common, but populations appear to have declined between 1966 and 2014, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. A 2012 study estimates a North American population of 189,000 birds. Solitary Sandpiper is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List.

Credits

Range Map Help

Solitary Sandpiper Range Map
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bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

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