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Upland Sandpiper Bartramia longicauda


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Upland Sandpiper
credit: Johnath/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Scolopacidae, Sandpipers view all from this family

Description ADULT Has gray-brown upperparts, feathers on back with dark centers creating barred effect. Underparts are mainly whitish, but with streaking on neck and chevron-shaped markings on breast and flanks. JUVENILE Similar to adult, but plumage is subtly flushed buffy brown.

Dimensions Length: 11-12 1/2" (28-32 cm)

Habitat Formerly much more abundant. Still widespread, but much declined (hunting and habitat loss). Nests in tall grassland (prairies and seminatural habitats). On migration, favors shorter grassland. Winters mainly on Argentinian pampas.

Observation Tips Easy to find within range and in suitable habitat in breeding season. Scarce on migration.

Range Mid-Atlantic, Eastern Canada, Plains, Florida, Rocky Mountains, Northwest, California, Western Canada, Southwest, New England, Alaska, Southeast, Texas, Great Lakes

Voice Utters a "wolf-whistle" call on breeding grounds, bubbling quilip-ip-ip at other times.

Discussion Distinctive, small-headed curlew-colored, dry grassland shorebird with long neck, short, straight bill, and long-bodied appearance (due to long wings and very long tail). Legs are yellow in all birds and note large, dark eye on otherwise rather pale face. Perches on fence posts on breeding grounds. In flight, wingtips are noticeably darker than rest of wings, but with white outer primary shaft. Sexes are similar.