Wandering Tattler
(Tringa incana)


Picture of bird
© Dominic Sherony - License
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

The Wandering Tattler breeds throughout much of Alaska, but in Canada, the species is restricted to high-altitude tundra of northwestern British Columbia, Yukon, and western Northwest Territories. The species migrates from these remote habitats to winter singly or in small groups along the Pacific coast or on oceanic islands, making it difficult to study or monitor its population. Results from the Christmas Bird Count on the wintering grounds suggest large decreases in the abundance of Wandering Tattlers since about 1970, but it is unclear to what extent this reflects the trend of the Canadian population. This species has been identified as a priority for conservation and/or stewardship in one or more Bird Conservation Region Strategies in Canada.


Main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least concern2018 
Partners in Flight (North America)Watch list - yellow R2017 
Wild Species (Canada)Vulnerable2015 
Bird Conservation Region StrategyPriority Species2013 

Population status

Geographic area or populationPopulation change relative to ~1970ReliabilityStatus in relation to goal
CanadaLarge DecreaseLowBelow Acceptable Level

Population estimate

Geographic area or populationPopulation estimate
Canada1,000 - 10,000 adults (includes birds breeding and migrating within Canada)

Distribution maps


Migration strategy, occurrence

Long-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation

Geographic areaResponsibility based on % of global population

Conservation and management

One of the least known species in North America, the Wandering Tattler is poorly studied through all parts of its life cycle (Gill et al. 2002). A lack of understanding of the species’ distribution, ecology, and status is perhaps the most immediate management issue. Its small population may make this species vulnerable to disturbances, although this is mitigated by its highly dispersed population, even during migration.


Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type
Northern Pacific RainforestNorthern Pacific Rainforest, sub-region and priority type: Pacific and Yukon -- Other
Northwestern Interior ForestNorthwestern Interior Forest, sub-region and priority type: Pacific and Yukon -- Stewardship