Calidris pusilla - (Linnaeus, 1766)
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Other Common Names: Maçarico-Miúdo
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Calidris pusilla (Linnaeus, 1766) (TSN 176667)
French Common Names: bécasseau semipalmé
Spanish Common Names: Playero Semipalmeado, Playero Enano
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.104508
Element Code: ABNNF11040
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Shorebirds
Image 11154

© Jeff Nadler

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Charadriiformes Scolopacidae Calidris
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Calidris pusilla
Taxonomic Comments: C. pusilla and C. mauri are often placed in the genus ereunetes (AOU 1983).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 07Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 26Nov1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Global populations are still estimated at over 2 million birds
Nation: United States
National Status: N5B (19Mar1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N3N5B,NUN,N4N5M (25Jan2018)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SNRN), Alaska (S4S5B), Arizona (S2M), Arkansas (S4N), California (SNA), Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (S3N), District of Columbia (S2N), Florida (SNRM), Georgia (SNRN), Idaho (S1M), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Iowa (S4N), Kansas (S4N), Kentucky (SNA), Louisiana (SNA), Maine (S4S5N), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (S5N), Michigan (SNRN), Minnesota (SNRM), Mississippi (SNA), Missouri (SNA), Montana (SNA), Nebraska (SNRN), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (S3N), New Mexico (S3N), New York (SNRN), North Carolina (SNA), North Dakota (SNRM), Ohio (SNA), Oklahoma (S4N), Oregon (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), South Carolina (SNA), South Dakota (SNA), Tennessee (S4N), Texas (S5), Utah (SNA), Vermont (SNA), Virginia (SNRN), Washington (SNA), West Virginia (SNA), Wisconsin (SNA), Wyoming (S4N)
Canada Alberta (S5M), British Columbia (SUM), Labrador (S2B,S3M), Manitoba (S3B), New Brunswick (S3S4M), Newfoundland Island (S3M), Northwest Territories (S3S4B), Nova Scotia (S3M), Nunavut (S3B,S3M), Ontario (S3B,S4N), Prince Edward Island (S3M), Quebec (S2), Saskatchewan (S4M), Yukon Territory (S3B)

Other Statuses

Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Candidate (High)
IUCN Red List Category: NT - Near threatened

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: BREEDS: western and northern Alaska, northern Yukon, northrn Mackenzie, Canadian arctic islands (except northernmost), and northern Labrador south to western Alaska, east-central Mackenzie, southeastern Keewatin, northeastern Manitoba, Southampton Island, northern Ontario, northern Quebec, and coastal Labrador. Nonbreeders often spend breeding season in coastal North America south to Gulf Coast, Panama. NORTHERN WINTER: Florida and Bahamas south to West Indies, Atlantic coast of South America (to Paraguay and southern Brazil), and Pacific coast from Guatemala south to northern Chile. Accidental in Hawaii. By far the largest numbers in winter occur on the northern coast of South America, centered on Suriname and the Guianas (Morrison and Ross 1989). Delaware Bay is the most important spring stopover in the eastern U.S. (Clark et al. 1993). The Bay of Fundy is an important staging area during fall migration and is used by perhaps 1-2 million individuals (up to 50-90% of the world population) (Mawhinney et al. 1993).

Area of Occupancy: 2,501 to >12,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Breeding densities range from 0.11 pair per hectare to 1 pair per hectare, but distribution is patchy, even in appropriate habitat. Counting both the breeding grounds and its wintering ground, occupancy should be greater than 20,000 square kilometers given its estimated numbers.

Number of Occurrences: > 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Based on a population size estimate of two million (Morrison, et. al. 2006), there should be 80 or more EOs. In addition, this species breeds in the high Arctic in the old world as well.

Population Size: >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Possiby the most abundant shorebird. Morrison et al. (2001) estimated the total population as 3.5 million (range 2-5 million). More recently, he has revised the estimate downwards to 2.2 million in 2006 (Morrison, et. al. 2006).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very many (>125)
Viability/Integrity Comments: Based on estimated population numbers and its distribution, there should be at least 125 "good" element occurrences.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: The primary threat to this species appears to legal and illegal hunting in South America (Hicklin and Gratto-Trevor, 2010). Destruction or manipulation of coastal and inland wetlands may also play a role.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: In spring at Delaware Bay, counts declined from the mid-1980s through the early 1990s (Clark et al. 1993). Morrison (1993/1994) categorized the population trend in Canada as "stable?/decreasing?" Counts of fall migrants in southeastern Canada significantly increased from 1980 to 1985, showed no significant trend from 1974 to 1979 or from 1986 to 1991 (Morrison et al. 1994). Birdlife International (2014) notes that recent population estimates have assumed an annual decline of 5% in 75% of the North American population.

Long-term Trend: Decline of 30-90%
Long-term Trend Comments: This species is conservatively estimated to have declined at a rate of 30% over three generations (22 years) (Birdlife International, 2014).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable to not intrinsically vulnerable.
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: This species is probably not vulnerable in the northern hemisphere but it is still hunted in South America and virtually the entire population of this species is in Central or South America during the winter.

Environmental Specificity: Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Typical shorebird requirements of nesting in the high Arctic and use of relatively undisturbed sandy beaches and tidal flats during the winter season

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: See Research Needs

Protection Needs: Secure and enhance high-quality habitat to support healthy populations of shorebirds. Identify additional key sites along migratory pathways

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDS: western and northern Alaska, northern Yukon, northrn Mackenzie, Canadian arctic islands (except northernmost), and northern Labrador south to western Alaska, east-central Mackenzie, southeastern Keewatin, northeastern Manitoba, Southampton Island, northern Ontario, northern Quebec, and coastal Labrador. Nonbreeders often spend breeding season in coastal North America south to Gulf Coast, Panama. NORTHERN WINTER: Florida and Bahamas south to West Indies, Atlantic coast of South America (to Paraguay and southern Brazil), and Pacific coast from Guatemala south to northern Chile. Accidental in Hawaii. By far the largest numbers in winter occur on the northern coast of South America, centered on Suriname and the Guianas (Morrison and Ross 1989). Delaware Bay is the most important spring stopover in the eastern U.S. (Clark et al. 1993). The Bay of Fundy is an important staging area during fall migration and is used by perhaps 1-2 million individuals (up to 50-90% of the world population) (Mawhinney et al. 1993).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
Canada AB, BC, LB, MB, NB, NF, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002; WILDSPACETM 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
ID Bingham (16011), Jefferson (16051), Nez Perce (16069)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
17 Idaho Falls (17040201)+, American Falls (17040206)+, Clearwater (17060306)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Begins breeding late May or early to mid-June. Usually 4 eggs incubated by both sexes, in turn, 18-21.5 days. Young tended by both parents, can fly at 14-19 days. May have same mate in successive years. Breeding population includes some yearlings. Up to 20 nests per sq km in some areas of northern Alaska.
Ecology Comments: Average territory size 1 ha on breeding grounds in Manitoba (Gratto et al. 1985). Seen in association with least sandpiper, sanderling, and semipalmated plover. Often in large flocks.
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Begins migrating northward in April, passing through U.S. in mid-May; arrives in breeding areas late May-early June. Northward and southward migration through interior North America are primarily east of Rockies, and on Atlantic-Gulf coast.

Southbound migrants from Alaska migrate chiefly across the Great Plains. Southbound migrants from the Canadian arctic (central and eastern breeding range) stop and feed at estuaries in Canadian maritime provinces and northeastern U.S. before flying nonstop to wintering areas in South America. The Bay of Fundy is a very important migration stop (may be used by 1-2 million birds in fall; Mawhinney et al. 1993). Adults depart breeding areas on Victoria Island by the end of July, juveniles depart in early to mid-August. Migrates through Costa Rica mid-August to mid-November and March-early May (Stiles and Skutch 1989).

In spring, western breeders migrate northward apparently through the interior of North America whereas most central and eastern breeders follow an Atlantic route from northern South America to the eastern U.S. at Delaware Bay (some migrate through interior of North America). Spring migrants in interior North America evidently use multiple stopover areas enroute to breeding areas (Skagen and Knopf 1994).

Birds wintering on the north coast of Brazil probably derive from breeding grounds in the eastern Arctic; birds on the western part of the north coast of South America and on the northern part of the Pacific coast likely come from the western sectors of the breeding grounds (Morrison and Ross 1989).

Estuarine Habitat(s): Tidal flat/shore
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian, TEMPORARY POOL
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Grassland/herbaceous, Sand/dune, Tundra
Habitat Comments: Nonbreeding: mudflats, sandy beaches, shores of lakes and ponds, and wet meadows (AOU 1983). In northern Alaska, postbreeding habitat was mainly coastal mudflats and slough edges (Smith and Connors 1993). Breeds on grassy or dry shrubby tundra, usually near water. In northern Alaska, favored areas with well-drained ridges for nesting and adjacent wet tundra for feeding (see Johnson and Herter 1989). Often returns to nest in natal area or area of previous nesting (Gratto et al. 1985). The nest is a shallow depression, lined with grasses, moss, and leaves. See also Rodrigues (1994).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Feeds primarily on aquatic insects; also eats mollusks, worms, and crustaceans. In spring at Delaware Bay, consumes large numbers of horseshoe crab eggs (Castro and Myers 1993, Botton et al. 1994). Runs along sand or mud snatching at food, sometimes probes for food with bill.
Adult Phenology: Circadian
Immature Phenology: Circadian
Phenology Comments: See Robert et al. (1989).
Length: 16 centimeters
Weight: 28 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Biological Research Needs: Collect morphometric data from across the species' range to delineate distinct populations and allow for management and conservation of species at the population level. Studies on the signfiicance of habitat loss and disturbance on body condition of birds would allow for more detailed conservation plans and implementation of corrective measures (Hicklin and Gratto-Trevor, 2010).
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Shorebirds

Use Class: Breeding
Subtype(s): Feeding Area, Breeding Site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding, or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.
Mapping Guidance: Breeding occurrences include nesting areas as well as foraging areas of nesting adults and broods. Because separations are based on nesting areas, the foraging areas of different occurrences may overlap if nesting birds are traveling to distant places to feed.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance pertains specifically to nesting areas, not to locations of dispersed foraging individuals. For example, nesting areas separated by a gap of more than 5 km are different occurrences, regardless of the foraging locations of individuals from those nesting areas.

The separation distance is an arbitrary value; it is impractical to attempt to delineate shorebird occurrences on the basis of dispersal patterns or metapopulation dynamics. Foraging ranges of some nesting shorebird species (see following) may suggest use of a larger separation distance, but this likely would result in occurrences that are too large and less effective for conservation planning.

Separation distance based on larger 'typical' breeding home ranges with diameters of 1.5 to 3 kilometers. Semipalmated Plovers have breeding home ranges up to 3 square kilometers, i.e. a diameter of just under 2 kilometers (Nol and Blanken 1999). Red-necked Phalaropes have a core home range of 1-3 hectares, but occasionally travel 1.5 kilometers to feed (Rubega et al. 2000). Stilt Sandpipers can forage up to 8 kilometers from nest (Jehl 1973). Mountain Plovers have an average home range of 56.6 hectares (Knopf 1996) but broods typically move 1-2 kilometers shortly after hatching (Knopf and Rupert 1996).

Territories: Common Snipe, 6.4-28.6 hectares (Mueller 1999); Long-billed Dowitcher, 100-300 meter diameter (Johnsgard 1981); golden-plovers, average 10-59 hectares (Johnson and Connors 1996); Long-billed Curlew, 6-20 hectares (Johnsgard 1981).

Nesting densities: Black-bellied Plover, 0.3-2.3 pairs per square kilometer (44 ha per pair at latter density; Hussell and Page 1976, Parmelee et al. 1967); Marbled Godwit, maximum density 1 pair/32 hectares (Stewart and Kantrud 1972).

Foraging distances: Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, up to 13 kilometers from nest (Elphick and Tibbits 1998, Tibbits and Moskoff 1999).

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 1.5 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Based on a smaller 'typical' home ranges (see Separation Justification).
Date: 25Mar2004
Author: Hammerson, G., and S. Cannings

Use Class: Migratory stopover
Subtype(s): Roost, Foraging concentration area
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of migrating flocks (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of 25 birds in appropriate habitat (minimum can be reduced in the case of rarer species). Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 7 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance somewhat arbitrary; set at 5 kilometers to define occurrences of managable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of foraging or roosting birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.
Date: 15Apr2002
Author: Cannings, S.

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Subtype(s): Roost, Winter Feeding Area
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of wintering flocks (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of 25 birds in appropriate habitat. Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 20 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance somewhat arbitrary; set at 5 kilometers to define occurrences of managable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of foraging or roosting birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.
Date: 25Mar2004
Author: S. Cannings
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 20Aug2014
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Jue, Dean K.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 15Feb1995
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Ridgely, R. S. 2002. Distribution maps of South American birds. Unpublished.

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  • Stiles, F. G. and A. F. Skutch. 1989. A guide to the birds of Costa Rica. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, USA. 511 pp.

  • THOMPSON,M.C., AND C. ELY.1989. BIRDS IN KANSAS VOLUME ONE.

  • Terres, J. K. 1980. The Audubon Society encyclopedia of North American birds. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

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  • eBird. 2016. eBird: An online database of bird distribution and abundance [web application]. eBird, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Available: http://www.ebird.org. Accessed in 2016.

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