Calidris Bairdii – Baird’s Sandpiper

Calidris Bairdii - Baird's Sandpiper found in the US

Baird’s sandpiper is a tiny shorebird (Calidris bairdii). It is one of the calidrids that were previously classified in the genus Erolia before being absorbed into the genus Calidris in 1973. The genus name derives from the Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, Aristotle’s word for several grey-colored waterside birds. The English name and specific epithet bairdii honor Spencer Fullerton Baird, a nineteenth-century naturalist and Smithsonian Institution assistant secretary.

Quick Overview: Calidris Bairdii – Baird’s Sandpiper
Body size: Around 7-8 in (18-20 cm) and a weight of 63 g (2.22 oz)
Main colors: Brown, White, Black, Gray
Range: Throughout the United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: March, April, May, September, October, November
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Baird’s sandpiper Description

Wing coverts are brown with a buff edging; underwing coverts and axillaries are white. Sepia-colored lower back, rump, and uppertail coverts with light rufous margins; blackish brown rump and tail, with whitish rump sides and buffish-gray upper tail sides.

Calidris Bairdii - Baird's Sandpiper found in the US
Calidris Bairdii – Baird’s Sandpiper. Photo by: Alaska Region U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Size

These birds have a length of 7-8 in (18-20 cm) and a weight of 63 g (2.22 oz). Their wings could range from 15-16.5 in (38-42 cm).

Feeding

Baird’s sandpiper feeds on insects, larvae, grasshoppers, and spiders. It feeds primarily on land, although occasionally in shallow water.

Habitat

Baird’s sandpipers are predominantly found in open settings such as dry sandy coastlines, mudflats, and open and flooded fields. Breeding habitats or habitat nests are typically found in dry, upland high Arctic tundra with scant and low vegetation.

Behavior

They forage for food by picking it off relatively dry substrates such as baked mud, sand, or grass. Their food capture technique differs. They primarily peck for food or probe seldom. Baird’s Sandpipers are less likely than other sandpipers to feed in the water.

Calidris Bairdii Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Scolopacidae
  • Genus: Calidris
  • Species: Calidris bairdii

Best time of the year to see

In the United States, the best time of year to see these birds are during the Spring season (March-May) and during the Autumn season (September – November).

Distribution of the Baird’s sandpiper in the USA

Breeds in the Arctic region, stretching from eastern Siberia and Alaska to northwestern Greenland. Winters in South America and migrates primarily through North America’s interior; infrequent along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

The Baird’s sandpiper can be found in the following states in the United States – Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Calidris Bairdii – Baird’s Sandpiper

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