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Rock Sandpiper - Calidris ptilocnemis


 Kingdom: Animalia
 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Aves
 Order: Charadriiformes
 Family: Scolopacidae
 Genus:   Numenius 
ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least ConcernLeast Concern



Rock SandpiperThe rock sandpiper is a plump, medium-sized shorebird 7-8 inches in length. It has a thin black bill with a yellow base that droops a little at the tip and short legs. In the winter, it has a slate-gray head, breast, and upperparts.

Rock SandpiperDuring the breeding season, it is a rusty-red on its uppersides and has a white head and throat, a reddish-brown crown, a reddish-brown patch on the side of its face, and a black patch on its breast. Males and females look alike, but females are slightly larger. The rock sandpiper's coloring keeps it well camouflaged in its environment!


mapThe rock sandpiper breeds in western Alaska. It winters along the southern Alaska coast south to northern California.



Rock SandpiperDuring breeding season, the rock sandpiper is found on mossy coastal tundra in Alaska. In winter, it is found on rocky shores.


Rock SandpiperThe rock sandpiper eats a wide variety of food, including seeds, berries, moss, and algae. In the winter it eats mollusks, crustaceans, and marine worms

Life Cycle

Rock SandpiperThe female lays 2-4 eggs in a nest in a depression in the ground. Both parents incubate the eggs for about 20 days. The chicks are precocial and leave the nest and feed themselves shortly after hatching. Both parents care for the young. The chicks fledge when they are about 21 days old.

Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Andrew Spencer cc logo