Family Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Least Concern

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata)


French: Bécasseau à queue pointue German: Spitzschwanz-Strandläufer Spanish: Correlimos acuminado

Totanus acuminatus


, 1821,



Formerly placed in genus Erolia; has been included in Limicola. Form described as C. (Pisobia) cooperi (“Cooper’s Sandpiper”) probably a hybrid between C. ferruginea and present species. Monotypic.


NC & NE Siberia from Lena Delta to R Kolyma. Winters from New Guinea through Melanesia to New Caledonia and Fiji, and S to Australia and New Zealand.

Descriptive notes

17–22 cm; male 53–114 g, female 39–105 g; wingspan 36–43 cm. Medium-sized sandpiper with rufous cap; dark brown upperparts with chestnut and whitish-... read more


Song, given only on breeding grounds, consists of a long, muffled trill. The typical call note,... read more


Tundra of low Arctic and subarctic, especially damp hillock tundra and moss-sedge bogs with drier,... read more

Food and feeding

Diet highly variable, including insects and their larvae, bivalves, snails, crustaceans, polychaete worms and seeds. Feeds at water’s... read more


Lays early–late Jun. Polygynous or promiscuous. Up to 20 birds/km². Large breast sac important in flight display, producing dry... read more


Migratory. Departs breeding grounds Jul–Sept. Main flyway via Transbaikalia, E of L Baikal,... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Total population numbers c. 166,000 birds, with comparatively large numbers staging at sites around Yellow Sea (at least 17,000,... read more

Recommended citation

Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata). 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 24 February 2020).