Spotted Sandpipers are in
the Order Charadriiformes which consists of gulls,
terns, alcids and sandpipers. They are in the Family Scolopacidae which groups them together with other
waders. Spotted Sandpipers are fairly small shorebirds,
being that they are 7.5 inches (19cm) in size.
They have a dark eyeline with a brown head, hindneck,
back and upperwings. They have a white neck and belly
with bold brown spots. They have an orange bill with a
black tip. Both males and females look similar but
females on average are 20-25% larger in size than
Spotted Sandpipers are the
most widespread breeding Sandpiper in North America.
They go from east to west across North America and
north-south from the southern edge of the Arctic to the
southern edge of the United States. They furthest south
they breed is the middle of California and the furthest
north they winter is New Mexico. The preferred habitat of the
Spotted Sandpiper is alone the shorelines of ponds,
lakes, rivers, marshes, streams and coastlines. They eat
mostly flying insects as well as worms, fish and
Spotted Sandpipers are
usually sing alone as they constantly bob and teeter.
They also have a distinctive, stiff-winged flight
pattern. Spotted Sandpipers are polyandrous which means
that the females may have more than one male partner in
one breeding season. Usually
there are 1-3 brood per season with about 4 eggs per
brood. Males defend the territory and incubate the eggs
for 20-24 days. The young are precocial when hatched
which means they are downy, mobile, able to find parents
and food. Mostly the male will tend the young until they fledge which
occurs about 17-21 days after hatching.
Good places to see Spotted
Sandpipers in Western New York would be alone the
shorelines of the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and Lake
Erie in the summer time.