• Scientific Name: Calidris alba (Pallas, 1764)
  • Polynesian Names: Turi, tuki (Marquises)
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Scolopacidae
  • Category: Migratory Birds
  • Location: Arctique (native), Tropical Islands

Apearance and identification

8 inches. Male and female identical in appearance. When it winters in French Polynesia, its plumage is grey-beige on top and white underneath. The cap and the periphery of the eye show the overall colour of the back. The beak and legs are black. This is the palest of sandpipers found in the Territory.

Videos

Voice

Characteristics

It breeds in the Arctic from June to August and winters from September to May in the tropical Pacific. It is common in Hawaii and the Marshall Islands but is rare in French Polynesia. Present in the East Tuamotu and the Marquesas. It has also been reported in Scilly, Maupiti, Huahine Tahiti and Raivavae (Austral Islands).

It occurs only in the Arctic. It nests in gravel. The female lays 3-4 eggs (1.5 x 1 inches) marked with pale yellow brown and black. Incubation made by both sexes lasts 24-27 days and the young fledge to the 17th day.

It’s a wader species. It runs along the sandy beaches on the edge of the breaking waves. It is seen on its own or in small groups.

Sanderlings Speed Along the Ocean’s EdgePodcast – These delightful little shorebirds can be seen scurrying on beaches around the world.

Series of « kip-kip-kip… »

It captures the shellfish when waves withdraw. It also eats insects (larvae and adults).

Location

It breeds in the Arctic from June to August and winters from September to May in the tropical Pacific. It is common in Hawaii and the Marshall Islands but is rare in French Polynesia. Present in the East Tuamotu and the Marquesas. It has also been reported in Scilly, Maupiti, Huahine Tahiti and Raivavae (Austral Islands).

Breeding

It occurs only in the Arctic. It nests in gravel. The female lays 3-4 eggs (1.5 x 1 inches) marked with pale yellow brown and black. Incubation made by both sexes lasts 24-27 days and the young fledge to the 17th day.

Habitat

It’s a wader species. It runs along the sandy beaches on the edge of the breaking waves. It is seen on its own or in small groups.

Sanderlings Speed Along the Ocean’s EdgePodcast – These delightful little shorebirds can be seen scurrying on beaches around the world.

Voice

Series of « kip-kip-kip… »

Food

It captures the shellfish when waves withdraw. It also eats insects (larvae and adults).

Status and protection

The Sanderling remains abundant and is not threatened. However, it is much rarer in French Polynesia than other shorebirds such as the Wandering Tattler (Tringa incana), the Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva) and the Bristle-thighed Curlew (Numenius tahitiensis). The species is classified as “Least Concern” (LC) on the IUCN Red List.

Original text by Caroline BLANVILLAIN – Supplements and update by various members of the SOP Manu.