Sandpiper-like Birds

Spotted Sandpiper Spotted Sandpiper
Actitis macularia


7 1/2" (19 cm). A starling-sized shorebird that bobs its tail almost constantly. Breeding adults are brown above, with bold white wing stripe, white below with bold black spots on breast and belly. Fall birds lack black spots below, have brownish smudge at sides of breast.


A clear peet-weet; also a soft trill.


Ponds, streams, and other waterways, both inland and along the shore.


4 buff eggs, spotted with brown, in a nest lined with grass or moss in a slight depression on the ground.

Spotted Sandpiper


Breeds from northern Alaska and Canada across most of continent to southern United States. Winters along Pacific Coast south from British Columbia and across southern states south to South America.


This is one of the best known of American shorebirds. Its habit of endlessly bobbing the rear part of its body up and down has earned it the vernacular name "Teeter-tail." When flushed from the margin of a pond or stream, it is easily identified by its distinctive flight-short bursts of rapidly vibrating wingbeats alternating with brief glides. Most of our shorebirds breed in the Far North; this is one of the few that nests in the United States.