The White-rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis) is a small shorebird.
Adults have black legs and a small thin dark bill. The body is dark brown on top and mainly white underneath, with brown streaks on the breast and a white rump. They have a white stripe over their eyes. This bird shows long wings in flight. In winter plumage, this species is pale gray above. This bird can be difficult to distinguish from other similar tiny shorebirds; these are known collectively as "peeps" or "stints".
One of the best identification features is the long wings, which extend beyond the tail when the bird is on the ground. Only the Baird's Sandpiper also shows this, and that bird can be distinguished by the lack of a white rump.
Their breeding habitat is the northern tundra on Arctic islands in Canada and Alaska. They nest on the ground, usually well-concealed in vegetation.
They are a long distance migrant, wintering in northern South America. They are rare but regular vagrants to western Europe. The species is a rare vagrant to Australia.
These birds forage by probing on mudflats or tundra or picking up food by sight in shallow water. They mainly eat insects, mollusks and marine worms, also some plant material.
Hybrids between this species and the Dunlin are occasionally found in northeastern North America (McLaughlin & Wormington, 2000, and external link below); the White-rumped Sandpiper is also suspected to hybridize with the Buff-breasted Sandpiper.
- McLaughlin K. A. & Wormington, A. (2000): "An apparent Dunlin × White-rumped Sandpiper hybrid". Ontario Birds 18(1): 8-12.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Calidris fuscicollis.|
- Ocean Wanderers: A putative hybrid White-rumped Sandpiper × Dunlin from the east coast of the USA. Retrieved 2006-Oct-11
- An online identification article covering this species and other small calidrids
- White-rumped Sandpiper Species Account - Cornell Lab of Ornithology
- White-rumped Sandpiper - Calidris fuscicollis - USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter