Bartramia longicauda
(Upland Sandpiper)

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

Physical Description:
11-12 1/2" (28-32 cm). Unique shape: Short bill on small head with shoe-button eyes; thin, long neck; long tail and long yellowish legs. Dark brown mottling on back and upper wings, with feathers fringed golden-buff and barred with black; streaked crownClick word for definition with narrow buffClick word for definition median stripe; throat whitish with fine dark streaks becoming larger on lower breast and flanksClick word for definition. Whitish unstreaked belly.

Similar Species- Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Curlews

Calls a mellow, whistled quip-ip-ip-ip. Song, begins with short rattle, continues with weird windy whistles: whoooleeeeee, wheelooooooooo. First slides up in pitch, second slides down.

Breeds locally from Alaska, east through central Canada and Great Lakes region to southern New Brunswick, and south in interior to eastern Washington, northeastern Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, northwestern Oklahoma, Texas, and parts of Midwest and mid-Atlantic states. Winters in South America.

Found in grasslands (especially prairies), dry meadows, pastures, short-grass savannas, plowed fields, fields around airports, and (in Alaska) scattered woodlands at timberline. Found very rarely (in migration) along shores and mudflats. In Idaho, prefers dry grass prairies, and is not tied to wet areas or shores.

Eats mainly insects and other small, terrestrial invertebrates.

Forages on ground. When not breeding, found alone or in small, scattered groups. Has conspicuous habit of whistling while sitting on fence posts. Arrives in Idaho in early May and begins courtship and copulationClick word for definition immediately; engages in high flying as part of courtship. Builds concealed nest in depression on ground in vegetation. Population in Idaho appears restricted to 3 or 4 small colonies.

Both sexes incubateClick word for definition 4 eggs (usually), for 21-24 days (eggs are laid May-June, depending on range). Both parents tend young, which first fly at 30-31 days.

Element Code: ABNNF06010
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S1,NTMB
National Rank: N5B

Important State References:
Taylor, D.M. and C.H. Trost. 1987. The status of rare birds in Idaho. Murrelet 68:69-93.

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