SANDERLING


Calidris alba


Description:

Sanderlings are the most widespread of all the sandpiper species. These birds spend the summer breeding along the Arctic tundra. Winter is spent along beaches across many countries in the world. This small, swift moving winter visitor can be seen running after the retreating surf and probing the sand with its bill for sand crabs and other crustaceans. All the while making sure to never be caught by the incoming waves.


Appearance:

White throat, breast, belly, and undertail coverts. Light-gray crown, nape, wing and tail feathers. Short black bill and black legs. Rusty head and breast when breeding. White wing stripe. 7.5 to 8.5 inches in length.


Habitat:

Coastal shore, beaches.


Nesting:

4 olive eggs with brown spots and a 24-31 day incubation period. Fledging occurs 17 days after hatching. The nest is a hollow in the ground lined with soft grasses and lichens.


Observed Locations:

  • Imperial Beach
  • Silver Strand State Beach, Silver Strand
  • Coronado Island
  • Torrey Pines State Reserve, La Jolla





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Copyright © Scott Streit, 2000.