|Conservation status||Still reasonably common, but like other species breeding only in the high Arctic, probably vulnerable to the effects of climate change.|
|Habitat||Rainpools, mudflats, shores, fields. In migration, often chooses slightly drier or more open habitats than related small sandpipers: dry and sandy shores, nearby grassy areas, even open fields. Also found on mudflats, flooded fields. Breeds on dry upland tundra in Arctic.|
Forages mostly by picking items from surface, not by probing; moves about actively on flats, looking for insects and other prey.
Usually 4, sometimes fewer. Pinkish-buff to olive, blotched with dark brown. Incubation is by both parents, 19-22 days. Young: Downy young leave nest soon after hatching. Young are tended by both parents at first, but female may depart before male. Age of young at first flight about 16-20 days.
Downy young leave nest soon after hatching. Young are tended by both parents at first, but female may depart before male. Age of young at first flight about 16-20 days.
Mostly insects. Diet not well known. On northern breeding grounds, eats many insects, especially flies and beetles; also spiders, other invertebrates. During migration, feeding in drier habitats, probably continues to feed mostly on insects, including caterpillars. Also takes some amphipods and other crustaceans.
Male flies high over breeding habitat in slow hovering flight, fluttering wings continuously, giving trilled song. At beginning of breeding season, males may tend to be clustered fairly close together, perhaps to help in attracting females to area. Nest site is on ground on dry tundra, in area with rocks and only low ground cover. May be well hidden under grass clump. Nest (probably built mostly by male) is a shallow scrape, lined with lichens, grass, dry leaves.
Illustration © David Allen Sibley.
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Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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In late summer and early fall, large numbers congregate on the Great Plains and in the central valleys of Mexico; then most apparently fly nonstop to South America.
- All Seasons - Common
- All Seasons - Uncommon
- Breeding - Common
- Breeding - Uncommon
- Winter - Common
- Winter - Uncommon
- Migration - Common
- Migration - Uncommon
See a fully interactive migration map for this species on the Bird Migration Explorer.Learn more
Songs and CallsA soft krrrrt; also a loud trill similar to that of other "peeps."
Learn more about this sound collection.
How Climate Change Will Reshape the Range of the Baird's Sandpiper
Audubon’s scientists have used 140 million bird observations and sophisticated climate models to project how climate change will affect this bird’s range in the future.
Zoom in to see how this species’s current range will shift, expand, and contract under increased global temperatures.
Climate threats facing the Baird's Sandpiper
Choose a temperature scenario below to see which threats will affect this species as warming increases. The same climate change-driven threats that put birds at risk will affect other wildlife and people, too.