Baird's sandpiper

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Baird's sandpiper
Calidris bairdii -Gullbringusysla, Iceland-8.jpg
In Iceland
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Scolopacidae
Genus: Calidris (disputed)
Species: C. bairdii
Binomial name
Calidris bairdii
Coues, 1861
Bairds Sandpiper Range.png
Global range     Year-Round Range     Summer Range     Winter Range

Actodromas bairdii
Erolia bairdii

The Baird's sandpiper (Calidris bairdii) is a small shorebird. It is among those calidrids sometimes separated in Erolia.


Adults have black legs and a short, straight, thin dark bill. They are dark brown on top and mainly white underneath with a black patch on the rump. The head and breast are light brown with dark streaks. In winter plumage, this species is paler brownish 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 white-rumped sandpiper also shows this, and that bird can be distinguished by its namesake feature.

Standard Measurements[2][3]
length 7–7.6 in (180–190 mm)
weight 38 g (1.3 oz)
wingspan 17 in (430 mm)
wing 117.6–125.3 mm (4.63–4.93 in)
tail 50–57 mm (2.0–2.2 in)
culmen 20.5–24.5 mm (0.81–0.96 in)
tarsus 21.3–24.2 mm (0.84–0.95 in)


Chicks on the ground, camouflaged

Baird's sandpipers breed in the northern tundra from eastern Siberia to western Greenland. They nest on the ground, usually in dry locations with low vegetation.

They are a long distance migrant, wintering in South America. This species is a rare vagrant to western Europe.

Baird's sandpiper might have hybridized with the buff-breasted sandpiper.

These birds forage by moving about mudflats, picking up food by sight. They mainly eat insects, also some small crustaceans.

This bird was named after Spencer Fullerton Baird, a 19th-century naturalist.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Calidris bairdii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Godfrey, W. Earl (1966). The Birds of Canada. Ottawa: National Museum of Canada. p. 154. 
  3. ^ Sibley, David Allen (2000). The Sibley Guide to Birds. New York: Knopf. p. 185. ISBN 0-679-45122-6. 

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