South Dakota
Birds and Birding
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Spotted Sandpiper

Actitis macularia

Length: 7.5 inches Wingspan: 14 inches Seasonality: Summer
ID Keys: Large round spotting on breast (summer), white eyebrow, short straight bill.

Spotted Sandpiper -  Actitis maculariaOne of the most widespread and common of the Sandpipers, the Spotted Sandpiper can be found teetering along shorelines and riverbanks throughout the state.  They are generally found singly, very rarely in groups.  It has a habit of constantly bobbing its rear end up and down.  Wintering grounds include the coastlines and southern portions of the United States all the way through southern South America.

Habitat: Could be found in nearly any aquatic habitat in the state. 

Diet: Large numbers of insects, also crustaceans, mollusks, small fish, earthworms, and occasionally carrion.

Behavior: Uses a wide variety of foraging techniques, most often plucking food items from the water's surface or the ground.  Very seldom flocks with others of the species, usually found alone or in pairs.

Nesting: June and July

Breeding Map: Breeding Bird Survey map

Song: Spotted Sandpiper Song

Migration: Summers throughout much of the United States and Canada.  Winters along North American coasts, the extreme southern United States, down through much of South America.

Similar Species: Solitary Sandpiper

Conservation Status: Still widespread and common, but with lesser numbers in recent decades.

Further Information: 1) USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter, Spotted Sandpiper

2) Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Spotted Sandpiper

3) - Spotted Sandpiper

Photo Information: May 27th, 2013 -- Minnehaha County -- Terry Sohl

Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or text links below for additional, higher-resolution Spotted Sandpiper photos.


Click on the map below for a higher-resolution view
Spotted Sandpiper - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Common migrant and uncommon summer resident in suitable habitat across the state.