All photos on this web page © Bob Gress
7 3/4 - 8 inches
17 1/4 - 18 3/4 inches
This robin-sized sandpiper has bright, yellow legs and a short, black bill. It has
dark patterning on its upperparts and a light strawcolored appearance to its underparts.
Their eyes appear large and dark, isolated within buff-colored facial feathers, appearing
rather pigeon-headed. They feed primarily in upland areas while making bobbing
movements as they walk. In flight, white underwings with a dark wrist comma
Buff-breasted Sandpipers in flight
- Similar Species:
Buff-breasted Sandpipers are more compact than Upland
Sandpipers and have proportionately shorter necks and legs, cleaner, buffy-colored
faces, necks and chests and black bills.
- Comments: Male
buffies gather on leks in the high arctic during the breeding season. They
flash white underwings to females who have gathered to choose a mate. They are seen during
spring and fall migrations within the Great Plains in short grass habitats such as sod
farms, grazed pasture land, cut alfalfa fields and fallow fields. They spend their
nonbreeding season on the short grasslands of southeastern South America.
Text: Suzanne Fellows and Bob Gress
Web Design: Jim Mason