Least Sandpiper

photo by Phil Swanson

Calidris minutilla
L 6″ (15 cm).

Song or calls:
High “preeep” or “pree-rreeep.”

Description: Sexes similar. Short, thin black bill that is slightly decurved. Greenish-yellow legs. Breeding plumage is dark brown above; light brown breast with heavy streaking; and white belly. Wing tip does not extend beyond tip of tail. Winter plumage is duller and shows a prominent brown breast band. Juvenile is similar to breeding adult but lacking heavy streaking on breast.

Bird Map
Habitat: Migrants frequently gather in groups on mud flats, shallow ponds, marsh edges, and flooded meadows. Usually will forage well away from the other larger “peeps”.

Where in Nebraska: Common spring and fall migrant across the state, but less common in the west.

Fun Facts: The Least Sandpiper is the smallest shorebird in the world.

Least Sandpiper (winter) - photo by Phil Swanson Least Sandpiper - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)