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Solitary Sandpiper - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Plectrophane
Yamaska Park, Quebec, Canada, September 2015
Tringa solitaria


18-21 cm (7-8¼ in)

  • Dark upperparts with whitish spots
  • Greyish head and breast
  • White underparts
  • White eye-ring

Similar Species

Green Sandpiper, which has a white rump.

Nominate subspecies
Photo © by Stanley Jones
Country Club Lake, Bryan, Brazos County, Texas, USA, 9 August 2019


North America: Canada, USA, Alaska

Central America: Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Bermuda

Caribbean: Greater Antilles, Lesser Antilles, Windward Islands, Leeward Islands, Bahamas, Cuba, Turks and Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands, Hispaniola, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Antigua, Barbuda, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad, Tobago, Netherlands Antilles

South America, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina



Nominate subspecies
Photo © by Stanley Jones
Country Club Lake, Bryan, Brazos County Texas, USA, 9 August 2019

There are 2 subspecies[1]:

  • T. s. solitaria (Eastern):
  • T. s. cinnamomea (Western):

There seems to be a deep genetic divergence between eastern and western birds, which may in the future lead to a proposal for two full species.


Fresh water marshes and ponds.


As its name suggests they are normally seen singly during migration. Small numbers may gather in feeding areas.


The diet consists of small invertebrates, spiders, grasshoppers and occasionally frogs. Feeds at pond edges.


They often utilise an abandoned songbird's tree nest, laying 3-5 eggs.


A three-note whistle is uttered in flight.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase

Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Solitary Sandpiper (Tringa solitaria). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/53909 on 17 August 2019).

  1. Collins Field Guide 5th Edition
  2. Collins Bird Guide ISBN 0 00 219728 6
  3. Paper describing genetic divergence within Solitary Sandpiper

Recommended Citation

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