Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Conservation status

Near Threatened

Population Trend


Alternate Names


Native Habitat



Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Calidris subruficollis

The Buff-breasted Sandpiper is a medium sized Sandpiper. It is brown above, and has a buff face and underparts in all plumage. It has a short bill and yellow legs. Males are larger than females. Juveniles resemble the adults, but may be paler on the rear underparts.

It migrates mainly through central North America, and is uncommon on the coasts. It occurs as a regular wanderer to western Europe, and is not classed as rare in Great Britain or Ireland, where small flocks have occurred. Only the Pectoral Sandpiper is a more common American shorebird visitor to Europe.

This species nests on the ground, laying four eggs. The male has a display which includes raising the wings to display the white undersides, which is also given on migration, sometimes when no other Buff-breasted Sandpipers are present. Outside the breeding season, this bird is normally found on short-grass habitats such as airfields or golf-courses, rather than near water.

These birds pick up food by sight, mainly eating insects and other invertebrates. They are often very tame.

Buff-breasted Sandpipers are suspected to have hybridized with the White-rumped or Baird's Sandpiper.

Regional Names
  • French:
    Bécasseau roussâtre
  • Spanish:
    correlimos canelo
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Calidris subruficollis