Living Bird Magazine
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The elegant, enigmatic Upland Sandpiper paces across grassland habitats like a tiny, short-billed curlew throughout the year: prairies, pastures, and croplands in summer; and South American grasslands in winter. Unlike most other North American shorebirds it avoids wetlands, instead hunting grasshoppers and other insects with jerky steps and quick jabs at prey. Male Upland Sandpipers often perch on fence posts early in the breeding season and perform memorable flight songs over their territories, often joined by their mates.More ID Info
Upland Sandpipers nest mainly in natural prairies, but they forage (and to a lesser extent nest) in a wide variety of grasslands, croplands, and pastures. During the early part of the nesting cycle, watch for males calling from fence posts. After the eggs hatch, you may spot family groups foraging together. Migrating Upland Sandpipers are scarce but may turn up in fields almost anywhere including short, prairielike fields, sports fields, and sod farms, beginning in mid-July. Most have departed the United States by mid-September, earlier than many other shorebird species.