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Spotted Sandpiper - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 19:21, 2 May 2023 by KeithDickinson-10828 (talk | contribs) (→‎External Links: updated VSearch and GSearch)
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Adult in breeding plumage
Photo © by Jvhigbee
Little Naches River, Washington, USA, 2 July 2003
Actitis macularia

Actitis macularius


Photo © by Marcel Gauthier
Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada, 22 July 2004

18-20cm (7-7¾ in)

  • Brown upperparts
  • White below, spotted black
  • White wing stripe
  • Short yellow legs
  • Orange bill with a black tip
  • Dark eye-line with thin white superciliary

Non-breeding birds do not have the spotted underparts.

Similar Species

Photo © by Stanley Jones
Brazos Center, Bryan, Texas, USA, 11 May 2021

Common Sandpiper


Breeds North America (Canada and the United States); winters to southern South America

A regular vagrant to Europe. There is thought to have been a breeding attempt in Scotland.


This is a monotypic species[1].

One subspecies (A. m. ravus) is recognised by some authorities[2]


Fresh water, ponds, streams, and other waterways, both inland and along coasts.



Frequently teeters by bobbing its rear end up and down.


They nest on the ground. Females may mate with more than one male, leaving incubation to them.


The diet includes insects, crustaceans and other invertebrates, from the ground or in the water. They may also catch insects in flight.


A long string of “weet” notes.


Migrates on broad fronts across North America, after breeding. They winter from southern United States well into South America.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Grant, P.J., K. Mullarney, L. Svensson, D. Zetterstrom (1999) Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe. Harpercollins Pub Ltd ISBN 0 00 219728 6
  4. Reed, J. M., L. W. Oring, and E. M. Gray (2020). Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (A. F. Poole, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.sposan.01
  5. Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/53913 on 15 March 2020).
  6. Chandler, R. (2009). Shorebirds of North America, Europe, and Asia: A photographic guide. Princeton.

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