Your Florida Backyard NSiS Home Page Your Florida Backyard Sandpipers
Of the birds listed below, only the Willet breeds in Florida. The others winter in Florida and then return to the Arctic tundra to breed.
The Short-billed Dowitcher is common along the coasts and may be found at inland lakes and marshes in winter. It forages by stabbing its bill into the mud.
Sanderlings are found on both coasts. They form small flocks and run back and forth with the surf while foraging.
Least Sandpipers are found in coastal and inland wetlands. They often forage in small flocks in grassy areas at the water's edge.
Western Sandpipers inhabit beaches and mudflats where they forage in shallow water and by probing in the mud.
Willets inhabit coastal marshes and mudflats and may move inland during the fall. They are ground nesters. Two to three weeks after the eggs hatch, the female leaves and the male cares for the young for another two weeks.
Lesser Yellowlegs inhabit shallow coastal and inland wetlands. They often flock with Greater Yellowlegs.

name area season diet/native food plants
Short-billed DowitcherNCSSpFWaquatic invertebrates*, insects, seeds
aquatic plants, bayberry
SanderlingNCSSpFWinsects*, sand crabs
Least SandpiperNCSSpFWinsects*, aquatic invertebrates, seeds
Western SandpiperNCSSpFWinsects*, aquatic invertebrates
WilletNCSSpSuFW-Baquatic invertebrates*
Lesser YellowlegsNCSSpFWinsects*, fish, crustaceans
N=north  C=central  S=south
Sp=spring  Su=summer  F=fall  W=winter
B=breeds in Florida during season(s) underlined  M=Migrant

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