|Conservation status||Population trends would be difficult to detect. No evidence of widespread change in numbers.|
|Habitat||Mudflats, open marshes, beaches; in summer, tundra. For nesting favors drier tundra, often more barren ridges above lowland lakes and rivers. Sometimes in lower wet tundra near coast. In winter mostly on open sand beaches, tidal flats. During migration will often stop in short-grass prairie or plowed fields.|
Typically they run a few steps and then pause, then run again, pecking at the ground whenever they spot something edible. Sometimes probes for hidden prey.
4, sometimes 3. Buff to gray-green, with darker blotches. Incubation is by both parents, 26-27 days. Young: Downy young leave nest shortly after hatching, find all their own food. Both parents tend young at first, then female leaves before young are 2 weeks old. If predator threatens, adults may lure it away by putting on broken-wing act. Adults also mob predatory birds that come near nest area. Young are able to fly at 35-45 days; adult male may leave before young fledge.
Downy young leave nest shortly after hatching, find all their own food. Both parents tend young at first, then female leaves before young are 2 weeks old. If predator threatens, adults may lure it away by putting on broken-wing act. Adults also mob predatory birds that come near nest area. Young are able to fly at 35-45 days; adult male may leave before young fledge.
Insects, mollusks, crustaceans, marine worms. Diet on northern tundra is mostly insects, also some mollusks, and small amount of plant material. In coastal situations (where it spends most of year), eats many polychaete worms, also mollusks, crustaceans, some insects.
Male displays on territory by flying with slow, deep wingbeats, giving clear whistled notes. Female may be attracted by this display. In courtship, male lands near female, runs stiffly toward her with head low. Nest site is on dry ground, often somewhat raised on ridge or hummock, with good visibility. Nest is a shallow scrape, lined with pebbles and bits of plant material; male begins scrape, female adds lining.
Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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Most migrate along coast or over sea, but numbers stop over regularly at some inland sites. Winter range remarkably extensive, from New England and southwestern Canada to southern South America, Africa, Australia. Females may tend to winter farther south than males. Most immatures apparently do not go to breeding grounds in summer; may remain through season on more southerly coasts.
- 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 clear whistled pee-a-wee.
Learn more about this sound collection.