Return to Main Page   Dakota Birder Blog    

Least Sandpiper

Calidris minutilla

Length: 6 inches Wingspan: 11 inches Seasonality: Migrant
ID Keys: Tiny size, pale yellow legs, slightly decurved bill

Least Sandpiper - Calidris minutillaLeast Sandpipers are the the smallest of the "peeps", the group of tiny sandpipers that migrate through the state.  The most common of the small sandpipers to migrate through the state, a primary identification key are the pale yellow legs.

Habitat: Mudflats, shallow marshes, flooded fields, shorelines.

Diet: Varied, including insects, small crustaceans, snails, and seeds.

Behavior: Primarily forages on mudflats and shorelines, picking up food items from the ground, occasionally by probing in the mud with its bill.

Breeding: Non-breeder in South Dakota

Song: High thin keee-eeet

Migration: Many winter in the Southern United States, while some migrate to northern South America.

Interactive eBird Map: Click here to access an interactive eBird map of Least Sandpiper sightings

Similar Species: Semipalmated Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper

Conservation Status: Populations are generally stable.

Further Information: 1) USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter, Least Sandpiper

2) WhatBird - Least Sandpiper

3) Audubon Guide - Least Sandpiper

Photo Information: May 14th, 2004 -- Madison Waterfowl Production Area -- Terry Sohl

Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or text links below for additional, higher-resolution Least Sandpiper photos.

 

Click on the map below for a higher-resolution view
Least Sandpiper - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Common migrant throughout the state.

Additional Least Sandpiper Photos
Click for a higher-resolution version of these photos
Least Sandpiper - Calidris minutillaLeast Sandpiper - Calidris minutillaLeast Sandpiper - Calidris minutillaLeast Sandpiper - Calidris minutillaLeast Sandpiper - Calidris minutillaLeast Sandpiper - Calidris minutillaLeast Sandpiper - Calidris minutillaLeast Sandpiper - Calidris minutillaLeast Sandpiper - Calidris minutillaLeast Sandpiper - Calidris minutillaLeast Sandpiper - Calidris minutillaLeast Sandpiper - Calidris minutillaLeast Sandpiper - Calidris minutillaLeast Sandpiper - Calidris minutillaLeast Sandpiper - Calidris minutillaLeast Sandpiper - Calidris minutilla