Calidris alba - (Pallas, 1764)
Sanderling
Other Common Names: Maçarico-Branco
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Calidris alba (Pallas, 1764) (TSN 176669)
French Common Names: bécasseau sanderling
Spanish Common Names: Playero Blanco
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.102190
Element Code: ABNNF11030
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Shorebirds
Image 10669

© Dick Cannings

 
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 alba
Taxonomic Comments: Often placed in monotypic genus Crocethia (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 estimated to over 600,000 birds (Birdlife International, 2014).
Nation: United States
National Status: N4B,N5N (19Mar1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N3B,N4N5N,N5M (01Dec2017)

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 (S5N), Alaska (S2B), Arizona (S2M), Arkansas (S3N), California (SNRN), Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (S2N), District of Columbia (S1N), Florida (S4N), Georgia (S5), Hawaii (SNRN), Idaho (S1M), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Iowa (S3N), Kansas (S3N), Kentucky (SNA), Louisiana (S5N), Maine (S4N), Maryland (S3N), Massachusetts (S5N), Michigan (SNRN), Minnesota (SNRM), Mississippi (S5N), Missouri (SNA), Montana (SNA), Navajo Nation (S3M), Nebraska (SNRN), Nevada (SNA), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (S3N), New Mexico (S4N), New York (SNRN), North Carolina (S5N), North Dakota (SNA), Ohio (SNA), Oklahoma (S3N), Oregon (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), South Carolina (SNRN), South Dakota (SNA), Tennessee (S4N), Texas (S5), Utah (S3N), Vermont (SNA), Virginia (SNRN), Washington (S4N), Wisconsin (SNA), Wyoming (S4N)
Canada Alberta (S4M), British Columbia (S4S5M), Labrador (S3M), Manitoba (SUM), New Brunswick (S3S4M,S1N), Newfoundland Island (S3M), Northwest Territories (S3S4B), Nova Scotia (S3M,S2N), Nunavut (S3B,S3M), Ontario (S5N), Prince Edward Island (S3M), Quebec (S4M), Saskatchewan (S4M), Yukon Territory (S4M)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: BREEDS: circumpolar; in North America, northern Alaska, and from Prince Patrick, Lougheed, and northern Ellesmere islands south to northern Mackenzie, western Victoria Island, northern Keewatin, northwestern coast of Hudson Bay, and Southampton and northern Baffin islands; northern Palearctic. Some spend breeding season in nonbreeding range. NORTHERN WINTER: southern Alaska, Massachusetts, and Gulf Coast south through Middle America, West Indies, and South America to southern Argentina (by far the largest number on the west coast of South America in Peru and Chile, Morrison and Ross 1989); also Pacific islands, Old World. Delaware Bay is the most important spring stopover in the eastern U.S. (Clark et al. 1993).

Area of Occupancy: 501 to >12,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: There is little data about home range size. Home ranges of non-territorial wintering birds averaged 1500 square meters (Macwhirter, et. cal. 2002). Using that number with 600,000 individuals gives an estimate of 900 square kilometers.

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Based on a population size estimate for just North America of 300,000 (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: 100,000 - 1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Birdlife International (2014) estimates the globalpopulation at 620,000 to700,000 individuals. The global population has been estimated at 643,000, with about 300,000 in North America (Morrison et al. 2001).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Many to very many (41 to >125)
Viability/Integrity Comments: Based on estimated population numbers and its circumpolar distribution, there should be at least 41 "good" element occurrences.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Like many shorebirds, this species relies heavily upon a few migratory stopover points where they congregate in high numbers. In addition, they are quite vulnerable to climate change with breeding in the high Arctic (National Audubon Society, 2014).

Short-term Trend: Unknown
Short-term Trend Comments: Global population trends are unknown (Macwhirter, et. al. 2002). In spring at Delaware Bay, counts declined from the mid-1980s through the early 1990s (Clark et al. 1993). Morrison (193/1994) categorized the population trend in Canada as "stable?/decreasing?" Counts of fall migrants in southeastern Canada significantly declined from 1974 to 1979, significantly increased from 1980 to 1985, and showed no significant trend from 1986 to 1991 (Morrison et al. 1994).

Long-term Trend: Decline of >50%
Long-term Trend Comments: According to National Audubon (2014), this species has declined by as much as 80% worldwide. However, others say the trend is unknown or uncertain (Macwhirter, et. al. 2002; Birdlife International, 2014).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: They are vulnerable because this species utilizes just a handful of important migratory stopover sites, making them quite vulnerable at those spots (National Audubon Society, 2014).

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: More population data from South America and the Atlantic coast wintering populations are needed (Macwhirter, et. al. 2002).

Protection Needs: Protection of the important staging and wintering areas for this species are warranted because studies have shown adverse effects on Sanderlings of increased use of the beaches by humans (Macwhirter, et. al. 2002)

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDS: circumpolar; in North America, northern Alaska, and from Prince Patrick, Lougheed, and northern Ellesmere islands south to northern Mackenzie, western Victoria Island, northern Keewatin, northwestern coast of Hudson Bay, and Southampton and northern Baffin islands; northern Palearctic. Some spend breeding season in nonbreeding range. NORTHERN WINTER: southern Alaska, Massachusetts, and Gulf Coast south through Middle America, West Indies, and South America to southern Argentina (by far the largest number on the west coast of South America in Peru and Chile, Morrison and Ross 1989); also Pacific islands, Old World. Delaware Bay is the most important spring stopover in the eastern U.S. (Clark 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, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NN, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, 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 Nez Perce (16069)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
17 Clearwater (17060306)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Breeding begins mid-June to July (may be delayed by snow). Female usually lays 4 eggs; incubation lasts about 24-31 days. Male sometimes incubates first clutch while female lays a second. Nestlings are precocial and downy. Young can fly 17 days after hatching.
Ecology Comments: Seen singly, or in small (usually) or large flocks. May defend nonbreeding feeding territory, chasing away other birds.
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Those migrating north to the Arctic from Chile and Peru travel mainly through the central corridor (Texas and northward) of the U.S. and Canada; smaller numbers follow the Pacific coast; a few migrate along U.S. Atlantic coast. Southbound from the Arctic to coastal Chile and Peru, many switch eastward to stopovers on U.S. Atlantic coast, including birds that migrated north along U.S. Pacific coast. Those in Brazil during nonbreeding season apparently appear only on U.S. Atlantic coast in migration. No single migratory route connects breeding with nonbreeding regions. (Myers et al. 1990).

Some migrate annually from central Chile to northeastern Greenland, about 12,800 km (Terres 1980), whereas others migrate only 3000 km between arctic and coastal northeastern U.S.; individuals exhibit strong fidelity to specific wintering areas. Typically large flocks fly long distances between favored stop-overs.

Begins migrating northward in March, main flight through U.S. in May, arrives in nesting areas late May-early June. Adults depart breeding areas mid-July to mid-August, juveniles late August-early September (Hayman et al. 1986). Migrates through Costa Rica mid-August through October and mid-March to early May (Stiles and Skutch 1989).

Estuarine Habitat(s): Tidal flat/shore
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Sand/dune, Tundra
Habitat Comments: Nonbreeding: primarily sandy beaches, less frequently on mud flats and shores of lakes or rivers (AOU 1983) also on exposed reefs (Pratt et al. 1987). Sleeps/loafs on upper beach or on salt pond dike. Nests on dry tundra, in stony locations or areas with low vegetation, within a few hundred meters of wet tundra. Nests on the ground in a shallow depression lined with mosses, leaves, or other plant material.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: During the nesting season feeds on adult insects and their larvae. On coastal beaches feeds on tiny crustaceans, small mollusks, and marine worms. Horseshoe crab eggs are an important source of food for north-bound migrants at Delaware Bay (Botton et al. 1994). Forages at edge of water probing wet sand with bill.
Adult Phenology: Circadian
Immature Phenology: Circadian
Phenology Comments: In winter, forages all day, with peaks in the early morning and late afternoon; forages at night as well (Burger and Gochfeld 1991).
Length: 20 centimeters
Weight: 60 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Biological Research Needs: A comprehensive autecological study in the high Arctic would be timely with climate change. Research should be directed toward following establishing habitat requirements and behavioral plasticity. Other topics include identification and conservation of winter feeding and roosting areas and examination of sublethal effects of pesticide contamination on migratory performance (Macwhirter, et. al. 2002)
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: 15Aug2014
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Jue, Dean K.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 17Jan1995
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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  • Rubega, M. A., D. Schamel, and D. M. Tracy. 2000. Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus). No. 538 IN A. Poole and F. Gill, editors, The birds of North America. The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA. 28pp.

  • See SERO listing

  • Sibley, D. A. 2000a. The Sibley guide to birds. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

  • Sinclair, P.H., W.A. Nixon, C.D. Eckert and N.L. Hughes. 2003. Birds of the Yukon Territory. UBC Press, Vancouver, BC. 595pp.

  • Stevenson, H.M., and B.H. Anderson. 1994. The Birdlife of Florida. University Press of Florida, 891 pp.

  • 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.

  • Zook, J. L. 2002. Distribution maps of the birds of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Unpublished.

  • 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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