Buff-breasted sandpiper

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Buff-breasted sandpiper
Tryngites subruficollis -USA-8.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Scolopacidae
Genus: Calidris
Species: C. subruficollis
Binomial name
Calidris subruficollis
(Vieillot, 1819)
Buff-Breasted Sandpiper Range.png
Range of C. subruficollis      Year-Round Range     Summer Range     Winter Range

Tryngites subruficollis

The buff-breasted sandpiper (Calidris subruficollis) is a small shorebird. The species name subruficollis is from Latin sub, "near to" and collum, "neck".[2] It is a calidrid sandpiper.


This species is brown above, and has a buff face and underparts in all plumages. It has a short bill and yellow legs. Males are larger than females. Juveniles resemble the adults, but may be paler on the rear underparts.

Standard Measurements[3][4]
length 190–230 mm (7.5–8.9 in)
weight 63 g (2.2 oz)
wingspan 460 mm (18 in)
wing 128.2–138.7 mm (5.05–5.46 in)
tail 56.8–61.4 mm (2.24–2.42 in)
culmen 19.9–21.3 mm (0.78–0.84 in)
tarsus 31.8–34 mm (1.25–1.34 in)

Distribution and habitat[edit]


C. subruficollis breeds in the open arctic tundra of North America and is a very long-distance migrant, spending the non-breeding season mainly in South America, especially Argentina.

It migrates mainly through central North America, and is uncommon on the coasts. It occurs as a regular wanderer to western Europe, and is not classed as rare in Great Britain or Ireland, where small flocks have occurred. Only the pectoral sandpiper is a more common American shorebird visitor to Europe.

This species nests as far north as Canada including Alaska[5]on the ground, laying four eggs. The male has a display which includes raising the wings to display the white undersides, which is also given on migration, sometimes when no other buff-breasted sandpipers are present. Outside the breeding season, this bird is normally found on short-grass habitats such as airfields or golf-courses, rather than near water.

These birds pick up food by sight, mainly eating insects and other invertebrates. The buff-breasted sandpipers are known to predate on Bombus polaris, a species of honeybee found within the Arctic Circle.[6] They will either eat the bees or feed them to their young.[6] They are often very tame.

Buff-breasted sandpipers are suspected to have hybridized with the white-rumped or Baird's sandpiper.

In South Asia and Australia[edit]

This species has been sighted in South Asia on at least three occasions. It is believed that instead of going to Argentina, this bird might have been wind-blown from the Great Plains Flyway of North America and landed up in South Asia. In November 2011, this species was sighted near Kannur, Kerala in South India.[7] The buff-breasted sandpiper has also been recorded from Australia on at least eight occasions.[8]

In 1978, Phillips recorded the species from Sri Lanka, and after that very few sightings were recorded.[9]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Calidris subruficollis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 372, 391. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4. 
  3. ^ Godfrey, W. Earl (1966). The Birds of Canada. Ottawa: National Museum of Canada. p. 161. 
  4. ^ Sibley, David Allen (2000). The Sibley Guide to Birds. New York: Knopf. p. 192. ISBN 0-679-45122-6. 
  5. ^ Attenborough, D. 1998. The Life of Birds. p.206 - 208. BBC. ISBN 0563-38792-0
  6. ^ a b Statman-Weil, Zoe; Wojcik, Vicki. "The Arctic Bumblebee". www.fs.fed.us. USDA. Retrieved 6 November 2015. 
  7. ^ Thomas, Jayan (26 November 2011). "North American Sandpiper in Kerala". migrantwatch.in. 
  8. ^ "Decisions reached by BARC (The BirdLife Australia Rarities Committee)". 
  9. ^ {{Cite web In 2001 a single bird was also recorded in Marievale South Africa |url=http://indianbirds.in/pdfs/IB7.5_Rajeevan_Thomas_BuffbreastedSandpiper.pdf |title=Buff-breasted Sandpiper Tryngites subruficollis from northern Kerala : a third record for India |last=Rajeevan |first=P. C. |last2=Thomas |first2=Jayan |website=Indian Birds}}

External links[edit]