Spotted Sandpiper

Scientific Name: Actitis macularius

Habitat: Spotted Sandpipers live in ponds, streams, marshes, rivers, lakes, and other wetlands. During migration they can be found in many habitats including beaches, drainage ponds, mudflats, and practically any other wetlands. Spotted Sandpipers prefer freshwater, but can also be found in saltwater habitats.

Behavior: The Spotted Sandpiper has a distinctive jerky walk, in which it bobs its head back and forth in search of food.

Diet: Spotted Sandpipers eat a wide variety of invertebrates including mollusks, fly larvae, grass hoppers, beetles, spiders, crickets, worms, and crustaceans. They sometimes catch insects in flight.

Nesting: The nest is placed on the ground, usually close to the water. Spotted Sandpipers lay 3 to 5 eggs, and incubate them for 19 to 22 days. The nest is made of dead grass, twigs, and stems, and it is lined with feathers, twigs, and grass.

Sound: The Spotted Sandpiper’s call is a quick trill, instantly followed by a high pitched weet! note.

Description/field marks: During the breeding season Spotted Sandpipers have distinctive black spots on their breasts and undersides, with white underneath the spots. They have white eye rings, and they have black eye lines and very thin white supercilia. During winter Spotted Sandpipers lose their spots and their eye markings fade. All year they have brown backs, wings, and heads. Spotted Sandpipers are about 7 inches long, and have wingspans of about 14 or 15 inches.

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper

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