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Semipalmated Sandpiper

Calidris pusilla ORDER: CHARADRIIFORMES FAMILY: SCOLOPACIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Near Threatened

An abundant small shorebird, the Semipalmated Sandpiper breeds in the Arctic and winters along the coasts of South America.

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
5.1–5.9 in
13–15 cm
Wingspan
11.4–11.8 in
29–30 cm
Weight
0.7–1.1 oz
21–32 g
Other Names
  • Correlimos semipalmeado (Spanish)
  • Bécasseau semipalmé (French)

Cool Facts

  • Semipalmated Sandpipers from eastern populations probably undertake nonstop transoceanic flights of 3,000 - 4,000 km (1,900 - 2,500 mi) from New England and southern Canada to South America, powered by extensive fat reserves.
  • The Semipalmated Sandpiper gets its common name from the short webs between its toes ("palmated" means webbed). The Western Sandpiper is the only other small sandpiper with similarly webbed toes.
  • The oldest recorded Semipalmated Sandpiper was at least 14 years, 2 months old when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in New Brunswick.

Habitat


Shore-line

Breeds on open tundra, generally near water. Winters and migrates along mudflats, sandy beaches, shores of lakes and ponds, and wet meadows.

Food


Insects

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Condition at Hatching
Active and covered with down.
Nest Placement

Ground

Behavior


Ground Forager

Conservation

status via IUCN

Near Threatened

The Semipalmated Sandpiper has three North American breeding populations: western (Alaska), central (western Canadian Arctic), and eastern (eastern Canadian Arctic). A 2012 study estimated a total population of 2.26 million breeding birds, with 1.45 million in the western population, and 810,000 in the central and eastern populations. Population trends have fluctuated over the last several decades. Overall, it appears that the Alaskan and central populations are currently stable, with possible increases in some areas, and the eastern population is declining. Semipalmated Sandpiper is 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.

Credits

Range Map Help

Semipalmated Sandpiper Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

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All About Birds blog, First-Ever World Shorebirds Day Highlights Need for Conservation, September 5, 2014.

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