Pectoral Sandpiper

Scientific name: Calidris melanotos

Did you know: The Pectoral Sandpiper, with its unique brown breast band and white belly, can sometimes be spotted in the UK, making a guest appearance all the way from America!

What Do Pectoral Sandpipers Look Like? (how to identify them)

Pectoral Sandpipers are slightly larger than Dunlins, sporting a brown, streaky breast, contrasting with a white belly, and a down curved bill. Their most distinctive feature is the brown breast band, which sharply contrasts with their white underparts, giving them a rather distinguished look.

Differences Between Male And Female Pectoral Sandpipers

The males are generally larger and heavier compared to the females, but visually, they share similar markings and colouring.

What Do Pectoral Sandpipers Eat?

These birds feed on small creatures found in shoreline mud, including a variety of invertebrates and seeds, skillfully picked up by sight or probing.

Where Do Pectoral Sandpipers Live? (inc. migration info)

Pectoral Sandpipers are visitors from America, typically found in marine, intertidal, wetland, and grassland habitats. In the UK, they are sighted approximately 56 times a year, mainly as passage migrants.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Pectoral Sandpipers)

Their calls are less known but include a series of soft whistles and sharp, short notes. During the breeding season, males perform a unique display flight, accompanied by distinctive hooting sounds.

Fun Pectoral Sandpiper Facts (kid friendly)

  • Pectoral Sandpipers are known for their long migrations from North America and Asia to South America and Oceania.
  • These birds have a unique way of eating, picking up food by sight or sometimes by probing into mud.
  • They are named after the distinctive pectoral, or chest band, that marks their plumage.
  • Pectoral Sandpipers breed in the arctic tundra, laying eggs deep enough to be protected from the chilly winds.
  • During the breeding season, males puff up their breasts to perform a special courtship dance.
  • Although they breed in remote regions, they can sometimes be seen in the UK during migration.
  • These birds are adept at foraging on grasslands and mudflats.
  • Their nests are carefully constructed scrapes on the ground, lined with plant material.
  • The Pectoral Sandpiper’s diet includes small invertebrates and seeds.
  • Interestingly, these birds have been observed to change their migration patterns, potentially due to global climate changes.

Pectoral Sandpiper Images

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Male
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Female
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Hatchling
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Nestling
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Chick
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Fledgling
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Juvenile

Facts About The Pectoral Sandpiper

Diet: Small creatures that live in shoreline mud.
Bird Family: Sandpipers, snipes and phalaropes
Length: 19-23cm
Wingspan: 38-44cm
Weight: 68-94g
Scientific Name: Calidris melanotos

The Pectoral Sandpiper Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • May
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October