White-rumped Sandpiper



White-rumped Sandpiper in South America

Scientific name: Calidris fuscicollis

Family: Scolopacidae

Spanish name: Playerito rabadilla blanca

Migration: Nearctic migrant

Population estimate: 1,120,000

Trend: Stable?

Ramsar Criterion 6 (1% level): 11,200

IUCN Conservation status: Not known to have unfavourable conservation status


Distribution and abundances

During the non-breeding season widely distributed in South America east of the Andes and south to Tierra del Fuego and the Strait of Magellan. Heavily concentrated in southern South America, along the Atlantic coast of Rio Grande do Sul (southern Brazil), Uruguay and Argentina. Main non-breeding quarters located in southern Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. Also recorded with considerable numbers in Paraguay, central Argentina and within inland Patagonia, at lakes and ponds of the foothills east of the Andes up to 1.200 m. Less abundant in the highlands of Ecuador and Peru, and along the Pacific coast of Chile (link to Abundances map). Sites reaching the 1% threshold (Ramsar Convention Criterion No. 6) are: Bahía San Sebastián, Bahía Samborombón and Laguna Mar Chiquita in Argentina, Lagoa do Peixe in Brazil and the coast of Suriname.


Migration and seasonality

Arrives to northern South America (Surinam, Venezuela and Colombia) by late August. Southward migration occurs down the Atlantic coast to the mouth of the Amazonas River, then moving inland mainly along the central Amazonia and Central Brazil Flyways, to the main non-breeding quarters in southern South America. Birds arrive to southern Brazil and Argentina by mid November. Departure from the main non-breeding areas in northward migration by March to mid April (link to Seasonality map).



Variety of wetland habitats, but more abundant in coastal areas. Recorded in marine beaches, intertidal mudflats and creeks, coastal lagoons and saltmarshes; also in freshwater marshes, ponds, wet grasslands and rice fields (during the first stages of the rice cycle).


Habits and interactions with human activities

Gregarious, in big flocks of thousands of birds in coastal areas and usually mixed with other shorebird species. A common species in rice fields of southern South America, but not considered a pest species. In coastal areas, foraging and roosting sites during the high tide could overlap with tourism activities.



Antas, P.T.Z. 1983. Migration of nearctic shorebirds (Charadriidae and Scolopacidae) in Brasil ‑ flyways and their different seasonal use. Wader Study Group Bull. 39: 52-56.

Bent, A.C. 1962. Life Histories of North American Shore Birds. Part I. Dover Publications INC. New York.

Blanco, D.E., B. López-Lanús, R.A. Dias, A. Azpiroz & F. Rilla. 2006. Uso de arroceras por chorlos y playeros migratorios en el sur de América del Sur. Implicancias de conservación y manejo. Wetlands International. Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Canevari, M., P. Canevari, G.R. Carrizo, G. Harris, J. Rodríguez Mata & R. Straneck. 1991. Nueva Guía de las Aves Argentinas. Fundación Acindar. Santiago de Chile. Tome I: 200 pp. and Tome II: 182 pp.

Canevari, P., G. Castro, M. Sallaberry & L.G. Naranjo. 2001. Guía de los chorlos y playeros de la Región Neotropical. ABC, WWF-US, WA, MBO & Asociación Calidris, Cali, Colombia.

del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & J. Sargatal (eds). 1996. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 3. Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Ed., Barcelona.

Fjeldsa, J. & N. Krabbe. 1990. Birds of the High Andes. Zoological Museum, Univ. of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Hayman, P., J. Marchant & T. Prater. 1986. Shorebirds. Christopher Helm, London.

Morrison, R. I. G. and R. K. Ross. 1989. Atlas of Neartic Shorebirds on the Coast of South America. Canadian Wildlife Service Special Publication, Ottawa.

Nores, M. 1989. Situación y rutas de vuelo de los playeros migratorios en Argentina, en: Taller de campo sobre ambientes acuáticos y técnicas de estudio, captura, marcado y manejo de chorlos migratorios. Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina y Manomet Bird Observatory.

Olrog, C.C. 1968. Las aves sudamericanas: Una guía de campo. Tomo I. Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Fundación - Instituto Miguel Lillo, Tucumán, Argentina.

Ridgely, R.S., T. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, R.E. Young & R. Zook. 2003. Digital distribution maps on the birds of the Western Hemisphere. Version 1.0. Nature-Serve, Arlington, Virginia.

Rodríguez Mata, J., F. Erize & M. Rumboll. 2006. Guía de Campo Collins – Aves de Sudamérica: No Passeriformes. Harper Collins Ltd.

Wetlands International. 2006. Waterbird Population Estimates – Fourth Edition. Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands.




Authors: Daniel E. Blanco, Román Baigún & Bernabé López-Lanús

Data compiler: Dario Unterköfler

Photographer: Pablo F. Petracci

Recommended citation: Blanco D.E., R. Baigún & B. López-Lanús. 2008. White-rumped Sandpiper in South America factsheet. Wetlands International for the Global Avian Influenza Network for Surveillance / WCS / USAID.



Click on the link to download the factsheet in pdf format: White-rumped Sandpiper



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