|Conservation status||Numbers apparently stable or perhaps increasing. Breeding range is mostly remote from human impacts. Building of rock jetties along Atlantic Coast may have increased available wintering habitat.|
|Habitat||Wave-washed rocks, jetties. In winter almost always on rocky shores or rock jetties and breakwaters, foraging in zone below high-tide mark. Sometimes in areas of seaweed washed up on beaches. In summer on barren northern tundra, especially in rocky areas or ridges.|
Clambers over rocks, seaweed, beaches, or tundra, looking for prey. Occasionally probes in mud, but usually finds food visually.
4, sometimes 3. Olive to buff, blotched with brown. Incubation is by both sexes (but male often does more), 21-22 days. Young: May leave nest within a few hours after hatching. Young are cared for mostly or entirely by male; from the beginning, young find their own food. Age at first flight not well known, probably about 3 weeks.
May leave nest within a few hours after hatching. Young are cared for mostly or entirely by male; from the beginning, young find their own food. Age at first flight not well known, probably about 3 weeks.
Mostly insects and mollusks. On breeding grounds eats mostly insects, also some crustaceans, spiders, worms. Unlike most sandpipers, also eats some plant material, including berries, buds, seeds, leaves, and moss. On migration and winter, diet is mostly small mollusks, including mussels and snails, also some crustaceans and insects.
In territorial display, male flies in wide circles with wings fluttered above horizontal. Displays to intruders on ground by raising one wing high above back. Male may pursue female on ground or in the air. Nest site is on ground on open tundra, either in high rocky area or lower wet site, often among lichen or moss. Nest is shallow depression, with or without lining of grass, leaves. Male makes up to 5 nest scrapes, female chooses one.
Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
Download Our Bird Guide App
Apparently follows coast in migration, seldom appearing inland. Fall migration much later than that of most sandpipers, not appearing on wintering grounds in numbers until November.
- 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 single or double twit or twit-twit.
Learn more about this sound collection.