Buff-Breasted Sandpiper

By Tim Lenz from Ithaca – Buff-breasted Sandpiper Uploaded by Snowmanradio, CC BY 2.0

This is Passport to Texas

The Buff-breasted Sandpiper is a small tan colored shorebird that stops to refuel in Texas during its long journey North.

It’s a bird that is what we call a long-distance runner.

Cliff Shackelford is a state ornithologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife.

It’s a migrant that winters in Argentina and breeds up in Alaska and Canada. And does that every year for maybe 10 to 15 years of its life. It’ll make that round trip journey every year.

But the distance traveled is not the only unique characteristic of the Buff-breasted Sandpiper. It’s preferred habitat in Texas may surprise you.

A shore bird is those little birds you see when you go visit the beach that are running around in the surf. But this guy fills a different niche. He’s not on the edge of water or the surf. He’s out in short grass areas. The key is, big chunks of real estate, varying amounts of water and mud, and just what people would think there’s nothing living out there, but clearly there are lots of invertebrates these shorebirds are going out there and consuming, they’re feeding on those.

Learn more about the birds of Texas on the Texas parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series and funds Buff-breasted Sandpiper research in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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