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pectoral sandpiper

pectoral sandpiper (Calidris melanotos)
Photo ©

Features and Behaviors

The pectoral sandpiper is about eight and three-tenths to slightly more than eight and three-fourths inches long (tail tip to bill tip in preserved specimen). Dark streaks on the breast end abruptly in a horizontal line. The back feathers are dark brown with white lines. The crown may have some rust coloration, and the legs are dull yellow.

This species is a common migrant through Illinois. Spring migrants begin arriving in early March. They nest in the Arctic. Migrants returning south start appearing in late June. The species overwinters in southern South America. Flooded fields, shorelines, mudflats and wet pastures are the habitats used in Illinois as these birds search for insects and other small invertebrates.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Scolopacidae

Illinois Status: common, native