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Stilt Sandpiper - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 03:28, 28 June 2023 by Jmorlan (talk | contribs) (→‎External Links)
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Photo © by jourdaj
Point Mouillee State Game Area, Monroe, Michigan, USA, July 2006
Calidris himantopus

Micropalama himantopus


18-23 cm (7-9 in)

  • Long, yellowish-green legs
  • Long neck
  • Long bill, slightly drooping at the tip
  • Grey tail
  • Wings plain
  • White supercilium

Breeding plumage heavily barred on the underside, with dark blotches on the back, and chestnut cheek patch; rump mottled dark on white.
Nonbreeding plumage all gray on back with lighter belly; rump white.
Juvenile browner above, with dark mantle feathers fringed red-brown and wing coverts fringed whitish giving a 'scaly' appearance; buffy breast grading into white belly; rump white.


Plain upperwing with no obvious wing bars; underwing with white axillaries.

Similar Species

Lesser Yellowlegs, Curlew Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper.


Two birds molting into breeding plumage on spring passage. The left bird is at a more advanced stage of molt. Note partially-webbed toes on right foot of the right bird.
Photo © by Chaiyan
Polk City Wildlife Area, central Iowa, May 2004

Breeds on tundra close to the Arctic Sea coasts of northern Alaska, northern Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, and the Hudson Bay shore of Manitoba. On migration on open freshwater pools throughout North and northern South America, though scarce west of the Great Plains. Winters in South America from Peru to northern Argentina; a few also winter in Florida and southern California.

Vagrant to Europe, including the British Isles, mostly adults in late summer.


This is a monotypic species[1].

The Stilt Sandpiper was formerly placed in the genus Micropalama by most authorities, but this treatment was found to leave the genus Calidris paraphyletic.[2]


Salt marshes, mudflats. Sedge meadows.


Often wades in deep water, often mixing with other Calidris species or with Long-billed Dowitchers and Lesser Yellowlegs.


It nests on the ground, 3-4 eggs are laid.


Photo © by eastwood
Iona, Richmond British Columbia, August 2007

The diet includes insects and other invertebrates.


Flight call: recalls Curlew Sandpiper's trrrp.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Collins Bird Guide ISBN 0 00 219728 6
  4. Birdforum Member observations

Recommended Citation

External Links

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