Baird’s Sandpiper

Baird’s Sandpiper Calidris bairdii breeds Canada and Alaska and adjacent Chukotski Peninsula and Wrangel Island in Siberia; winters mainly South America, but vagrants have reached Fujian and Taiwan. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Often alone or in small groups, often among dry vegetation, especially coastal grasslands, but also mudflats and coastal pools. ID & COMPARISON Small, long-winged sandpiper. Wings extend more than centimeter beyond tail tip. Lightly streaked crown is buffish, as are face and breast; buff supercilium; upperparts also buffish, with blackish centers to feathers giving a mostly dark impression when tips are worn off in summer. White from belly to undertail coverts. Streaks on breast are finer and not chevron-shaped, as in White-rumped Sandpiper C. fuscicollis. Summer plumage relatively dull for a sandpiper, and Baird’s is noticeably more buff overall than greyer White-rumped. Juvenile like adult, but shows obvious white scaling above. Winter plumage more grey-brown and uniform, but breast pattern still visible. In flight, unlike White-rumped, shows black central band from rump to tail. BARE PARTS Bill black, sometimes with greenish base. Legs black, sometimes tinged greenish; smaller Least Sandpiper C. minutilla has yellowish legs. VOICE Short, trilling call. — Craig Brelsford

THE CALIDRIDS OF CHINA covers every species in the genus Calidris in China. Click any link below:

Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris
Red Knot C. canutus
Ruff C. pugnax
Broad-billed Sandpiper C. falcinellus
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper C. acuminata
Curlew Sandpiper C. ferruginea
Temminck’s Stint C. temminckii
Long-toed Stint C. subminuta
Spoon-billed Sandpiper C. pygmaea
Red-necked Stint C. ruficollis
Sanderling C. alba
Dunlin C. alpina
Rock Sandpiper C. ptilocnemis
Baird’s Sandpiper C. bairdii
Little Stint C. minuta
Least Sandpiper C. minutilla
White-rumped Sandpiper C. fuscicollis
Buff-breasted Sandpiper C. subruficollis
Pectoral Sandpiper C. melanotos
Western Sandpiper C. mauri


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

Go to Birds of China page

Reach us:

Be notified every time we post. Send an
email with “Subscribe” as the subject to

Donate to Shanghai Birding!

Shanghai Birding 上海观鸟