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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Sanderling (Calidris alba)




Sanderling | Calidris alba photo
Sanderling, La Jolla Shores Beach, La Jolla, California

Photograph by Alan And Elaine Wilson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

SANDERLING FACTS

Description
The Sanderling is a small sandpiper. In the breeding season the head, breast, back and wings are reddish brown with dark and light markings. The underside is white. It the non-breeding season the head is pale gray with white face, the back and wings are pale gray with dark brown shoulder patch. The belly is white. In flight it show a broad white wing stripe with black edges. Males and females are similar. Juvenile birds are similar to non-breeding adults with black and white mottling on back, and fine black streaks on chest.

Size
length 18cm - 20cm. Wingspan 35 cm

Environment
breeds on coastal tundra of high Arctic. Winters on sandy beaches.

Food
Aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates.

Breeding
Nest is a shallow scrape on the ground lined with some leaves and lichens. Lays three to four (usually four) dull green eggs with brown blotches.

Range
breeds in far northern Canada and parts of Alaska. Also northern Greenland, northern Norway, and northern Russia. Winters on east coast from Nova Scotia to southern Argentina, and on west coast from Alaska to southern Chile. Also found on temperate and tropical beaches throughout most of the world.

Classification
Class:Aves
Order:Charadriiformes
Family:Scolopacidae
Genus:Calidris
Species:alba
Common Name:Sanderling


Relatives in same Genus
  Dunlin (C. alpina)
  Pectoral Sandpiper (C. melanotos)
  Least Sandpiper (C. minutilla)
  Rock Sandpiper (C. ptilocnemis)