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white-rumped sandpiper

white-rumped sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis)
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Features and Behaviors

The white-rumped sandpiper is about seven and one-half inches long (tail tip to bill tip in preserved specimen). The white rump patch is distinctive. The wings at rest are longer than the tail feathers. There is a white line above the eye. The breeding bird has streaks of dark marks on the breast and underside feathers that extend to the rump area. Its back feathers are brown with some rust coloration. The base of the lower bill is red. The nonbreeding bird has gray feathers on the upper side of the body and gray on the breast feathers extending along the lower sides.

This species is an uncommon spring migrant and a rare fall migrant in Illinois. Spring migrants begin appearing in late April. They nest in the Arctic tundra. White-rumped sandpipers returning to the south generally are only seen in northern Illinois, starting in late July or early August, as they take a more easterly route than in spring. Overwintering occurs in South America. Shores, mudflats and marshes are the preferred habitats. Small invertebrates make up the diet.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, native