Least Sandpiper

The Least Sandpiper: The Little Bird with a Mighty Presence

The Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla) is a small wading bird and the smallest of all North American sandpipers. Its size may be diminutive, but its presence in its habitat is anything but!

Basic Description:
The Least Sandpiper measures only 5-6 inches long and weighs around 0.6 ounces. It has a brownish-gray upper body with black legs, white underparts, and dark spots on the breast. Its cute little bill is straight and thin.

Where to Find This Bird:
These birds breed in northern Canada’s tundra region during May through June before migrating to their wintering grounds along coastal areas from Southern California to South America.

Habitat:
Least Sandpipers are found near water bodies like marshes or mudflats because they primarily feed on insects, crustaceans, mollusks, worms, and aquatic plants that are abundant in those habitats. They can also be seen near freshwater ponds or even urban parks during migration season.

Food:
As mentioned earlier, the Least Sandpiper feeds upon various organisms such as insects (flies), crustaceans (shrimp), mollusks (snails & clams), worms, etc., which it forages by probing into mud or sand with its slender bill.

Cool Facts:

1) Although tiny –weighing less than an AA battery–these birds have impressive flying abilities! For example; During fall migration when they fly over open ocean waters between New England & South America – some individuals have been recorded covering distances up to 2kms non-stop!

2) These birds don’t make nests rather lay eggs right onto pebbles/ soil hollows close to water bodies where both male/female take turns incubating them until hatching occurs after nearly three weeks.
3) In winter months when food sources are scarce, some Least Sandpipers resort to cannibalism feeding on juvenile birds of their own species.

In conclusion, despite its small size, the captivating and mighty presence of the Least Sandpiper is impossible to ignore. So keep your eyes peeled near water bodies or open fields during its migration season for a chance encounter with these amazing little creatures!