Boreal Birds
300+ species, billions of birds rely on Canada's boreal forest as critical breeding grounds
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Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper
Actitis macularius
Sandpiper-like Birds | Family: Sandpipers, Scolopacidae

An estimated 73% of the species' North American population breeds within the Boreal Forest.

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Overview

This is one of the best known of American shorebirds. Its habit of endlessly bobbing the rear part of its body up and down has earned it the vernacular name "Teeter-tail." When flushed from the margin of a pond or stream, it is easily identified by its distinctive flight-short bursts of rapidly vibrating wingbeats alternating with brief glides. Most of our shorebirds breed in the Far North; this is one of the few that nests in the United States.

Description

7 1/2" (19 cm). A starling-sized shorebird that bobs its tail almost constantly. Breeding adults are brown above, with bold white wing stripe, white below with bold black spots on breast and belly. Fall birds lack black spots below, have brownish smudge at sides of breast.

Voice

A clear peet-weet; also a soft trill.

Nesting

4 buff eggs, spotted with brown, in a nest lined with grass or moss in a slight depression on the ground.

Habitat

Ponds, streams, and other waterways, both inland and along the shore.

Range/Migration

Breeds from northern Alaska and Canada across most of continent to southern United States. Winters along Pacific Coast south from British Columbia and across southern states south to South America.