Fun Buff-breasted Sandpiper Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Buff-breasted Sandpiper Facts For Kids

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The buff-breasted sandpiper (Calidris subruficollis) is a native bird of South America and also ranges to North America during the breeding season, where it has Arctic breeding grounds. These medium-sized birds have a beautiful buff-colored body with brown plumage. There are black spots present on their dark brown upperparts, which makes them look adorable. These bird species have yellow legs and a small black bill. Their diet includes different types of insects, small crustaceans, and also seeds. 

These birds migrate to North America during their breeding season. Males display an array of aerial acts to impress females and also become quite territorial during this time. Females are solely responsible for taking care of their young ones. The IUCN Red List has listed this species of sandpiper as nearly threatened due to habitat loss. However, in the early 1900s, these species of birds were known to be quite popular shorebirds with a population of thousands to millions. Keep on reading to know more about this bird with slightly alarming conservation status.

If you liked reading this article, then do check out the Common Sandpiper and spoon-billed sandpiper

Fun Buff-breasted Sandpiper Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Insects, crustaceans

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

0.10-0.25 lb (0.046-0.113 kg)

How long are they?

7.08-7.87 in (18-20 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Brown, black, yellow

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Humans, Birds Of Prey, Arctic Fox

What is their conservation status?

Near Threatened

Where you'll find them?

Grasslands, Arctic Tundra


North America, South America









Buff-Breasted Sandpiper Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a buff-breasted sandpiper?

The buff-breasted sandpiper (Calidris subruficollis) is a bird of the Scolopacidae family.

What class of animal does a buff-breasted sandpiper belong to?

The buff-breasted sandpipers belong to the class Aves, just like the pileated woodpecker and the parrots. Additionally, they are part of the family Scolopacidae.

How many buff-breasted sandpipers are there in the world?

These bird species are declining in their population to a great extent due to their habitat loss and predation. Only about 35,000-78,000 total individuals are estimated to be present globally.

Where does a buff-breasted sandpiper live?

These birds have a population range map in North America, South America, and some parts of Europe. In North America, this species resides in Canada and the state of Alaska. They are known to migrate in the winter season to the warmer regions of South America, such as Brazil and Argentina. A small part of the population is also found in Europe, including Ireland and Great Britain. Although, the pectoral sandpiper, another species of the same family, is more common in Europe.

What is a buff-breasted sandpiper's habitat?

These South and North American birds mostly inhabit grassland habitats and dry upland regions. They also reside in the Arctic tundra habitat that is characterized by extremely low temperatures. Usually, these creatures prefer dry habitats and avoid areas like mudflats or wetlands. Their preferred breeding habitats in the Arctic breeding grounds comprise scant vegetation and tussocks. The range map of this species also includes golf courses and airfields.

Who does the buff-breasted sandpiper live with?

It is not exactly known who this species of North American birds live with. However, it can be assumed that during migration and breeding season, they are found in groups or pairs of males and females. They are also known to roam about solitarily when searching for prey and probing in the sand.

How long does a buff-breasted sandpiper live?

Although the exact lifespan of the North American sandpipers is not known, common sandpipers belonging to the same family are known to live for about 12 years.

How do they reproduce?

Their breeding season between the male and the female usually occurs in the warm summer months. These birds are known to form monogamous pairs during the breeding season. The male birds exhibit courtship displays to attract the female birds on the breeding grounds. These include raising the wings over their heads, puffed out breasts, and pointing their beaks towards the sky. Males gather in small groups and engage in competitive courtship rituals to entice females. This salient feature of this species is known as lekking. After mating, females lay around four eggs and incubate them. However, males are not involved at all in parental care, and females raise the young ones completely on their own.

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN Red List has listed the buff-breasted sandpiper (Calidris subruficollis) as a Near Threatened species. These birds used to be popular shorebirds in the early 1900s, and now they're almost extinct due to degradation of grasslands, loss of habitat, and climate change. They are also predated by many raptors, and their young ones are preyed on by the Arctic fox, leading to a need for their conservation.

Buff-Breasted Sandpiper Fun Facts

What does a buff-breasted sandpiper look like?

These shorebirds exhibit sexual dimorphism as the males are slightly larger than females. They have a buff or brownish plumage with a contrasting yellow breast. The distinct crown on their heads consists of fine streaks of lines in black. The dark spots on their lighter plumage give them a scaly appearance. The underwings are white in color and are visible in flight. Their identifying features also include the yellow legs and short bill. The young are quite similar in appearance to the adults with slightly paler underparts.

The buff-breasted sandpipers have a yellow breast with dark brown plumage.

How cute are they?

The buff breasted sandpipers are extremely cute because of their yellow body, yellow legs, black spots on the brown upper parts, and short bill.

How do they communicate?

These bird species are not much vocal and are considered to be silent. Their characteristic mild 'tick' sound is heard during their migration in spring. This 'tick' sound is also heard during their courtship and is produced by males.

How big is a buff-breasted sandpiper?

The buff-breasted sandpiper length range is about 7.08-7.87 in (18-20 cm), and they are way bigger than the hummingbirds. However, they are smaller than the upland sandpiper birds.

How fast can a buff-breasted sandpiper fly?

Although their exact flying speed range is unknown, these North American bird species are known to move quite fast in their flocks during flight. They can also walk and run while foraging and are known to be high steppers.

How much does a buff-breasted sandpiper weigh?

The buff breasted sandpipers weigh in the range of 0.10-0.25 lb (0.046-0.113 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

No specific names are given to the male and female species of this bird.

What would you call a baby buff-breasted sandpiper?

A baby Buff-breasted sandpiper is called a chick.

What do they eat?

The buff-breasted sandpipers are omnivores. They prey on a range of insects, including spiders, and also eat small crustaceans and seeds of different plants.

Are they dangerous?

These birds are not considered to be dangerous to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

These species of sandpipers are wild shorebirds. They constantly forage on the ground and on trees for insects and seeds. Thus, they would not make good pets. Moreover, these birds are on the verge of extinction, and hence, keeping them as pets will be a punishable offense.

Did you know...

The name sandpiper comes from their short piping voice that is produced during mating or in flight and also their habit of constant probing in the sand with their short bill. They are active birds and are diurnal in nature.

These birds are not endemic to any particular country.

A majority of sandpipers often form monogamous pairs during their lives.

Why is the buff-breasted sandpiper endangered? 

Buff-breasted sandpipers are endangered birds because of certain threats like the loss of habitat, illegal poaching, destruction of grasslands, climate change, and use of toxic pesticides. Moreover, these birds face threats from a large number of raptors, and their eggs and young ones are predated by the arctic fox of the tundra region.

What are sandpipers known for? 

Sandpipers prey on insects with the utmost attention and constant pecking with their short bill. They are shorebirds and thus, tend to stay close to the water bodies.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these American purple gallinule facts and Crimson-Breasted shrike facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable 3 Bird Houses Coloring Pages.

The first image is owned by Tim Lenz.

The second image is owned by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

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