Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
SPOTTED SANDPIPER Actitis macularia L8" (19cm)
The spotted sandpiper is possibly the most well known breeding sandpiper in the United States. The adult in breeding plumage is unmistakable with striking black spots on its white breast. This sandpiper has an unusual habit of constantly bobbing its tail while standing still or when feeding. The spotted sandpiper inhabits rivers and lakes with sparsely vegetated islands or shorelines. The nest consists of a small depression located in short vegetation near open water. The female lays 3-4 brown spotted eggs with an incubation period lasting 20-21 days. The male spotted sandpiper is largely responsible for incubation duties. The diet of the spotted sandpiper consists primarily of insects such as grasshoppers, cutworms, flies, and beetles.