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Merlin Bird ID

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    Spotted Sandpiper

    Silhouette SandpipersSandpipers

    Spotted Sandpiper

    Actitis macularius
    • ORDER: Charadriiformes
    • FAMILY: Scolopacidae
    Basic Description

    The dapper Spotted Sandpiper makes a great ambassador for the notoriously difficult-to-identify shorebirds. They occur all across North America, they are distinctive in both looks and actions, and they're handsome. They also have intriguing social lives in which females take the lead and males raise the young. With their richly spotted breeding plumage, teetering gait, stuttering wingbeats, and showy courtship dances, this bird is among the most notable and memorable shorebirds in North America.

    More ID Info
    image of range map for Spotted SandpiperRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

    Find This Bird

    Though you may think of the beach as the best place to see a sandpiper, look for Spotted Sandpipers alone or in pairs along the shores of lakes, rivers, and streams. Once in flight, watch for their stuttering wingbeats, or look for them teetering along rocky banks or logs.

    Other Names
    • Playero Alzacolita (Spanish)
    • Chevalier grivelé (French)
    • Cool Facts