Calidris subruficollis (Bbsp, Buff-breasted Sandpiper)

Project Name: Buff-breasted Sandpiper Geolocation Migration Study

Project Location: Lagoa Do Peixe, Brazil; Laguna De Rocha, Uruguay; Bahia Samborombon, Argentina

Correspondent researcher: Richard Lanctot,

Researchers: Richard Lanctot, Stephen Yezerinac, Joaquin Aldabe, Juliana Bosi de Almeida, Gabriel Castresana, Stephen Brown, Pablo Rocca, Sarah Saalfeld

Bibliographic citation: Lanctot,R.B., S. Yezerinac, J. Aldabe, J. Bosi de Almeida, G. Castresana, S. Brown, P. Rocca, S.T. Saalfeld & J.W.Fox, 2016. Light-level geolocation reveals migration patterns of the Buff-breasted Sandpiper. Wader Study 123(1): 29-43.


BbspC469: A female migration
06jan13 deployed L.d.Peixe, S31.1xW50.8 13apr13 left L.d.Peixe, 98days later
18apr13 arrived Columbia, near N5.0xW68.9
05may13 left Columbia, stayed 18days
  -passage north with stops
11may13 arrived Texas, near N30.0xW96.0
12may13 left Texas, stayed 2days
  -passage up central flyway with 2 stops, 9days en route
24may13 arrived Saskatchewan,Canada, near N49.2xW105.5
28may13 left Saskatchewan, stayed 5 days
  -flight north into the arctic, stayed north 52 days
21jul13 arrived Manitoba, stays only 1 day
  -passage south with 2 stops, 8 days en route
28jul13 arrived Texas, near N27.2xW97.7
24aug13 left Texas, stayed 27days
28aug13 arrived Columbia near N1.0xW75.6
16sep13 left Columbia, stayed 19days
17sep13 arrived Bolivia near S12.0xW66.9
09oct13 left Bolivia, stayed 22days
12oct13 arrived Paraguay near S24.7xW57.6
17oct13 left Paraguay, stayed 6days
19oct13 arrived Lagoa do Peixe, stayed 66days to recovery

Geolocators show red knots migrate nonstop from Texas to Saskatchewan in the midwest flyway, a flight of 2 days. In contrast, these buff-breasted sandpipers make 2 to 4 stops during 7-9 days following the same route. Yet they also make long flights between South and North America.



BbspC615: a male migration
06jan13 deployed Argentina, S38.6xW57.0
28aug13 relocated northwest 480km, 10days after capture
06apr13 left central Argentina, stayed 63days
10apr13 arrived Columbia near N3.8xW71.6
26apr13 left Columbia, stayed 16days
29apr13 arrived Texas near N28.0xW97.6
11may13 left Texas, stayed 12.5days
  -passage north with 4 stops, 13days en route
29may13 arrived Northwest Canada
02jun13 relocates westward to Alaska
18jun13 relocates eastward toward King William Island
  -stays north 61days
29jul13 arrives South Dakota
  -passage south with 2 stops, 7days en route
08aug13 arrives Texas near N29.7xW96.6
04sep13 left Texas, stayed 27days
  -flight ~5400km, 5days, minimum migration speed 45kph
09sep13 arrived Bolivia/Brazil, near S10.0xW67.3
20sep13 left Bolivia, stayed 11days
22sep13 arrived Bahia Samborombon, Argentina, S35.6xW57.1
14jan14 recovered geo 115days after arrival


Buff-breasted sandpipers are one of only three shorebirds in the world that mate on leks. Here males display with their wings and their tail to attract females, and females typically choose only 1 or 2 males per lek. Males typically stay on leks only a short time and the pattern of travel from the single male in this study suggests they might display at multiple locations. Interestingly, the two females in this study did not wander, but settled along longitude 105 and 110.


Please see the Wader Study publication for more details and acknowledgements of people and organizations the made the study possible.