White-rumped Sandpiper
(Calidris fuscicollis)


Picture of bird
© Ryan Clancy
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

The White-rumped Sandpiper breeds across the Canadian Arctic and winters in southern South America. During southward migration, the White-rumped Sandpiper passes through eastern North America. Surveys at stopover sites in this area suggest there has been little change in abundance of the species relative to about 1970, although these results have poor precision. Nevertheless, the species' behaviour of travelling long distances between a restricted set of staging sites means that they are susceptible to disturbance and habitat change at these key sites. With a large percentage of the global breeding population, Canada's responsibility for the species is very high. 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 
Wild Species (Canada)Secure2015 
Bird Conservation Region StrategyPriority Species2013 

Population status

Geographic area or populationPopulation change relative to ~1970ReliabilityStatus in relation to goal
CanadaLittle ChangeLowAt an Acceptable Level

Population estimate

Geographic area or populationPopulation estimate
Canada> 1,000,000 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
CanadaVery High

General nesting period in Canada

Nesting period starts in early June and ends in mid-July, depending on the region. Before or after this period, the probability of an active nest is lower.

Conservation and management

The White-rumped Sandpiper undertakes extremely long migrations, and like other shorebirds, depends on good foraging conditions at stopover sites to fuel these migrations. However, it often relies on habitats far removed from the coast, exposing this species to a different suite of threats than obligate-coastal shorebirds. Over 1.6 million birds have been estimated to pass through the Prairie Potholes region in the United States (Skagen et al. 2008); wetland loss and water level fluctuations in interior North America are detrimental to the species during northward migration (e.g., Parmelee 1992a). In the Arctic, climate change is predicted to reduce the distribution of climatically suitable breeding conditions by 90% by 2070 (Wauchope et al. 2016). Despite these threats, however, the species' current status appears secure.


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
Gulf of St. LawrenceGulf of St. Lawrence, sub-region and priority type: Atlantic, NL -- Other
Newfoundland and Labrador Shelves Newfoundland and Labrador Shelves , sub-region and priority type: Atlantic, NL -- Other
Taiga Shield and Hudson PlainsTaiga Shield and Hudson Plains, sub-region and priority type: Ontario -- Conservation