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


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!