Calidris Fuscicollis – White-Rumped Sandpiper

Calidris Fuscicollis - White-Rumped Sandpiper found in the US

The white-rumped sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis) is a tiny shorebird found in Canada and Alaska’s northern tundra. This bird can be difficult to tell apart from other similar little shorebirds commonly referred to as “peeps” or “stints.” These birds are rarely seen. They are rarely observed throughout the summer due to their remote breeding habitat.

Quick Overview: Calidris Fuscicollis – White-Rumped Sandpiper
Body size: Around 7-8 in (18-20 cm) and a weight of 34 g (1.2 oz)
Main colors: White, Gray-brown
Range: Eastern United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: March, April, May
Conservation Status: Least Concern

White-rumped Sandpiper Description

The white-rumped sandpiper is a tiny bird with a white rump. Its upper body is a dark gray-brown shade with a white eye stripe. It has a medium-length beak that is slender and dark and has very dark legs.

Calidris Fuscicollis - White-Rumped Sandpiper found in the US
Calidris Fuscicollis – White-Rumped Sandpiper. Photo by: Silver Leapers


These birds have a length of 7-8 in (18-20 cm) and a weight of 34 g (1.2 oz). Their wings could range from 14-16 in (36- 41 cm).


White-rumped sandpipers are mostly invertebrate feeders. Invertebrates such as insects, snails, and some aquatic worms are included in this category. Seeds are infrequently encountered in their diet.


The white-rumped sandpiper prefers sparsely vegetated tundra regions. During the breeding season, they inhabit the marshy, densely vegetated, hummocky arctic tundra of Alaska and Canada.


White-rumped sandpipers walk rather than hop while on the ground. They fly quickly and steadily, reaching speeds of up to 80 kilometers per hour. They are capable of swimming but rarely do so. Males aggressively guard their territories and will ward off invaders. Males will charge each other with their heads down and then flee. They will peck at each other’s wings up to a height of 25cm. Females do not engage in aggressive behavior. After constructing a nest and laying eggs, the male will quit the territory.

Calidris Fuscicollis Scientific Classification

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

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).

Distribution of the White-rumped Sandpiper in the USA

Breeds in the far northern reaches of Alaska and along the Canadian Arctic coast. Long-distance migrant, wintering as far south as Antarctica’s outlying islands.

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

Calidris Fuscicollis – White-Rumped Sandpiper

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