Buff-breasted Sandpiper prefers the dry open ground of prairies and open
agricultural fields rather than the shorelines and mudflats that many
sandpipers prefer. In many ways, they are more similar in appearance
to plovers than they are to other sandpipers. They were once abundant
migrants through the state, but hunting in the 1800s and early 1900s
severely depleted their numbers, and they've never fully recovered.
Habitat: Breeds on slopes of the Arctic
Tundra, preferably near open water. During migration, they are most often
found on dry open areas, such as plowed fields, short-grass prairie, and grazed
pasture. Mowed alfalfa fields are often used as well.
Diet: Primary food item is insects and
spiders in all seasons. They will also occasionally feed on seeds and
Behavior: Feeds while walking, usually with quick
walking or running with intermittent pauses as it searches for insects.
Breeding: Non-breeder in South Dakota
Song: Soft p-r-r-reek
during migration through the state. Males also make a fast clucking sound on its
summer breeding grounds.
Migration: Summers on the Arctic Tundra. Winters on the
pampas of Argentina.
Conservation Status: While once abundant, they are
now quite uncommon. Hunters killed a great many of these birds during
the 1800s and early 1900s. In addition, habitat destruction has taken
a toll, especially on their migration routes and wintering grounds.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Buff-breasted Sandpiper"
-- Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Photo Information: August 1st, 2008 - Kingsbury
County, South Dakota - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Buff-breasted Sandpiper photos.