Actitis macularia
(Spotted Sandpiper)


Order: Charadriiformes
Order Description: Shorebirds, Gulls, Terns
Family: Scolopacidae
Family Description: Sandpipers and Phalaropes

Physical Description:
7 1/2-8" (18-20 cm). Olive-brown above, with a white line over the eye and dark line through the eye; a dusky smudge encloses a white wedge near the shoulder. In summer the white underparts are spotted with brown and blackish spots cover above. Bill is orange-pink with dark tip; legs are flesh-colored. No spots in winter.

Similar Species- Solitary Sandpiper, Wandering Tattler

Song:
A clear peet or peet-weet! or repeated weet-weet-weet-weet-weet.

Distribution:
Breeds across portions of Alaska and Canada, south to Oregon, southern California, central Arizona, southern New Mexico, Texas, and parts of southeastern United States. Winters from southwestern British Columbia, western Washington, southern Arizona, southern New Mexico, southern Texas, and coastal southeastern U.S., south to South America.

Habitat:
Found on seacoasts and shores of lakes, ponds, and streams, and occasionally in marshes. Prefers shores with rocks, wood, or debris.

Diet:
Eats mainly small invertebrates.

Ecology:
Builds nest in depression on ground, on elevated site in vegetation or rocks. May form loose colonies when breeding. Obtains food from water surface, or by probing along shores, or sometimes inland. When not breeding, defends individual territory, and forms small flocks to sleep (normally does not flock). In one study, predation by single mink reduced local annual reproductive success from 30-50 chicks fledged to zero.

Reproduction:
Male incubatesClick word for definition 4 eggs (usually) for 20-21 days. Female may lay clutchClick word for definition for more than 1 male (polyandrousClick word for definition). Male may change mate if nest fails. Young are attended by male, leave nest soon after hatching, and fly at 13-16 days.

Conservation:
Element Code: ABNNF04020
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5
National Rank: N5B,N5N

Important State References:
No references are available at this time.


Photo by Marcus Martin, ©1999.
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.