Family Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Least Concern

Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos)


French: Bécasseau à poitrine cendrée German: Graubrust-Strandläufer Spanish: Correlimos pectoral

Tringa melanotos


, 1819,



Formerly placed in genus Erolia; has been included in Ereunetes. Described form C. paramelanotos (“Cox’s Sandpiper”) shown to be a hybrid between C. ferruginea and (almost certainly) present species#R#R. Monotypic.


N Siberia (Yamal Peninsula E to Chukotskiy Peninsula, with New Siberian Is and Wrangel I)#R E through W & N Alaska and NC Canada to W Hudson Bay; may also breed on Yugorsky Peninsula (S of Novaya Zemlya)#R. Winters from Bolivia, Paraguay and S Brazil to C Chile and S Argentina (Tierra del Fuego); much smaller population in SE Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand; rare winter visitor to Hawaiian Is.

Descriptive notes

19–23 cm; male 45–126 g, female 31–97 g; wingspan 37–45 cm. Medium-sized sandpiper with heavily streaked buff breast sharply demarcated from white... read more


Four main vocalizations described: (1) the hooting call, a distinctive hollow, hooting, given 2–3... read more


Breeds on Arctic tundra, usually in wet and well-vegetated habitats, such as bog and tundra... read more

Food and feeding

In breeding area, variety of insects, especially larvae and adults of craneflies, chironomids and Diptera; also beetles and spiders. In N... read more


Lays Jun–Jul, mostly in mid to late Jun, although there is evidence to indicate that season has advanced in recent decades in... read more


Siberian and North American birds migrate to South America, following Atlantic and Pacific coasts... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Population spending boreal winter in South America previously estimated at 25,000–100,000 birds; no estimate available for... read more

Recommended citation

Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos). 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 on 25 February 2020).