Well named, the Solitary Sandpiper is usually seen singly as it
migrates through the state, shunning the more gregarious nature of most other
sandpipers. Also unlike nearly all other sandpipers, they don't nest on the
ground, but instead use old songbird nests in trees. Solitary Sandpipers
sometimes practice nest parasitism, laying their eggs in the nests of different
species of birds.
migration through the state, they are generally found in flooded fields, wet
meadows, and along edges of streams and ponds. They are generally not
found on open mudflats like their close relatives, the Yellowlegs.
Diet: Primarily feeds on
insects, especially aquatic insects, but also terrestrial insects such as
grasshoppers and beetles. Also will feed on small crustaceans, mollusks,
worms, small amphibians, and occasionally small fish.
Behavior: Prefers shallow water along shorelines
for foraging, both by probing with its bill in the mud and water, and by
picking food items from the water's surface. Solitary Sandpipers will
occasionally stir up the stream or lake bottom with their feet to reveal
Nesting: Non-breeder in South Dakota
Song: A crisp, rising pee-EET flight
call. Alarm call is a sharp, short kleek.
Migration: Summers throughout much of Canada and Alaska. Winters in South America.
Conservation Status: Numbers are generally stable. The
widely dispersed population makes analysis of populations trends difficult.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Solitary Sandpiper
Photo Information: August 17th, 2004 - Lake
Thompson, Kingsbury County - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Solitary Sandpiper