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Species Guide
A photo of a Broad-billed Sandpiper (Calidris falcinellus)
Broad-billed Sandpiper

Broad-billed Sandpiper

Calidris falcinellus

The Broad-billed Sandpiper, Calidris falcinellus, is a diminutive wader, somewhat more petite than a Dunlin. It boasts a longer, straighter bill and shorter legs. The breeding adult is adorned with dark grey upperparts intricately patterned, and a white underbelly with blackish breast markings. A pale crown stripe and supercilia grace its head.

Identification Tips

In winter, the Broad-billed Sandpiper's plumage transitions to pale grey above and white below, akin to a winter Dunlin, yet it retains its distinctive head pattern. Juveniles can be recognized by their backs, which resemble those of young Dunlin, but they are set apart by their white flanks and belly, coupled with a brown-streaked breast.


This species selects the wet taiga bogs of the Arctic regions in northern Europe and Siberia for its breeding grounds.


The Broad-billed Sandpiper is a globe-trotter, migrating to spend the non-breeding season across a vast range from easternmost Africa, through south and south-east Asia, all the way to Australasia.


A highly social bird, the Broad-billed Sandpiper often forms flocks with other calidrid waders, especially Dunlins. During courtship, the male performs an impressive aerial display. Nesting occurs on the ground in a simple scrape, where it lays a clutch of 4 eggs.

Song & Calls

The contact call of this bird is a dry, whistling “dree-it, dree-it” and a clicking “dik dik”.

Diet and Feeding

Foraging primarily by sight, the Broad-billed Sandpiper probes soft mud on marshes and coasts for its meals, which consist mostly of insects and other small invertebrates.

Conservation status

The Broad-billed Sandpiper is currently listed as Least Concern by the IUCN, and it is protected under the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA).

Broad-billed Sandpiper Sounds

Recorded by: © 
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Broad-billed Sandpipers on Birda


More Sandpipers, Snipes

A photo of a Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)

Common Sandpiper

Actitis hypoleucos
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