New Hampshire PBS
   share this page
NATUREWORKS!
Home     About     Watch     Nature Files     Teachers     Order DVD     Contact

Semipalmated Sandpiper - Calidris pusilla

Characteristics
Range
Habitat
Diet
Life Cycle
Behavior

 Classification

 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Aves
 Order: Charadriiformes
 Family: Scolopacidae
 Genus:  Calidris

semipalmated sandpiper

ICUN Redlist - World Status: Near ThreatenedNear Threatened
    Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Daniel Lane cc logo
  Characteristics
semipalmated sandpiperThe semipalmated sandpiper is a small shore bird between 5-6 inches in length. It has gray and brown plumage above, a thin, white wing stripe and a white belly. It has a pointed, black bill and black legs. Semipalmated means half-webbed. The semipalmated sandpiper's toes are actually only slightly webbed, just enough to  helps them walk on the mud without sinking. Males and females look alike.

  Range

mapThe semipalmated sandpiper breeds in northern Alaska and Canada south to the Hudson Bay. It migrates through the eastern and central states and winters in South America.

 

 

  Habitat
The semipalmated sandpiper breeds on the tundra. It winters on and migrates along coastal beaches, lake and river shores, mudflats and salt marshes.


 
  Diet

The semipalmated sandpiper eats seeds and aquatic invertebrates.

  Life Cycle

semipalmated sandpiperMales arrive on the arctic breeding grounds in late May, usually a few days before the females. The males establish a territory and then try to attract a mate with aerial displays that include hovering and the air and calling out with  sharp cries.

When it finds a mate, the male will create scrapes or shallow depressions in the ground. The female selects one of the scrapes the male has made and lays 4 eggs at a rate of one egg a day. Both the male and the female incubate the eggs. The chicks hatch in about 19 days. The chicks hunt for insects shortly after birth. They begin to fly when they are about 14 days old. The female will usually leave the chicks about ten days after they hatch. The male will continue to care for the young until they fully fledge at about 19 days.

  Behavior

During migration, thousands of The semipalmated sandpipers can gather to rest and feed on shores.




 


Advertisement: