Sharp-tailed Sandpiper: Medium sandpiper with dark brown upperparts and white underparts with faint olive-brown streaks on breast and sides. Head has rufous crown and, white eye ring. Wings are dark brown. Tail is dark brown and pointed in flight. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Range and Habitat
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper: Eurasian species; casual spring and common fall migrant in western Alaska; rare fall migrant along entire Pacific coast. Preferred habitats include tidal sandbars, mudflats, estuaries, swamps, inland lakes, and shorelines.
A review of new data has indicated that the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper should perhaps better be placed into the genus Philomachus - as P. acuminatus - which now contains only the Ruff.
Its larger size and long-legged stance, and the breast pattern which gradually fades away on the belly as in the Ruff instead of having a fairly sharp border as in the Calidris/Erolia stints indicate that placement in Philomachus may be correct.
Its population as of 2004 was estimated at 160,000 individuals.
A group of sandpipers has many collective nouns, including a "bind", "contradiction", "fling", "hill", and "time-step" of sandpipers.
The Sharp-tailed Sandpiper has a large range, estimated globally at 50,000 to 100,000 square kilometers. Native to Australia, Asia, and North America and vagrant to Europe, this bird prefers grassland, wetland, and marine ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 160,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper is Least Concern.