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Bird Details

Sandpiper Like Sandpiper Like

Spotted Sandpiper

Actitis macularia

Spotted Sandpiper
copyright Robert Shantz
Length: 8 in. (19 cm)
This sandpiper continually bounces up and down on its legs as it runs along the waterline of lakes, ponds, marshes, streams and rivers from sea level to alpine mountain meadows. It is usually by itself or in pairs and characteristically flies on stiff wings with fluttering, shallow beats. The distinct spotting on the breast of both males and females is present only during the breeding season. They eat worms, fish, shrimp, and dead carrion, but they also can catch large flying insects. The nest is made of moss and grass and placed away from the water's edge among rocks or dead logs. Females mate with up to five males at a time, and the males care for the eggs and young. The four-digit banding code is SPSA.

Mudflat
Mudflat

Riparian / River forest
Riparian / River forest

Marsh / swamp
Marsh / swamp

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Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.