Copyright 2000-2014 by Thomas Zinneman.  All rights reserved.

Least Sandpiper   Calidris minutilla

One of three “peeps”  the Least Sandpiper is easily distinguished by its yellow legs from the dark gray or black legs of the Semipalmated and Western Sandpipers.  They also tend to be browner than the other two; also, their thin bill may curve down slightly.  They are usually found in mud flats in or near grassy or weedy areas.  Least Sandpipers are usually the most numerous “peep” at interior sites during migration and winter, but are usually outnumbered by the other “peeps” along the coast.  They breed in the sub-arctic tundra and northern boreal forest from Alaska to Newfoundland.  They spend their winters along both coastal and interior sites from Washington and Virginia south to Chile and Brazil. Spring migration takes place from mid-March to early June.  Fall migration takes place between mid-June and early November.