The Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla) is a very small shorebird. It measures 13–15 cm (5.1-5.9 in) long and weighing around 20-32 g (0.7-1.1 oz). Adults have black legs and a short, stout, straight dark bill. The body is dark grey-brown on top and white underneath. The head and neck are tinged light grey-brown. This bird can be difficult to distinguish from other similar tiny shorebirds, in particular, the Western Sandpiper; these are known collectively as “peeps” or “stints.” [Wikipedia]
An abundant small shorebird, the Semipalmated Sandpiper breeds in the Arctic and winters along the coasts of South America. It feeds on insects, worms, small mollusks, and crustaceans. [All About Birds]
Semipalmated Sandpiper Facts [All About Birds]
- Semipalmated Sandpipers from eastern populations probably undertake nonstop transoceanic flights of 3,000 – 4,000 km (1,900 – 2,500 mi) from New England and southern Canada to South America, powered by extensive fat reserves.
- The Semipalmated Sandpiper gets its common name from the short webs between its toes (“palmated” means webbed). The Western Sandpiper is the only other small sandpiper with similarly webbed toes.
- The oldest recorded Semipalmated Sandpiper was at least 14 years, 2 months old when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in New Brunswick.