Upland Sandpiper

Bartramia longicauda
Range Map

The Upland Sandpiper, though technically a ‘shorebird’, is more closely associated with dry grasslands. Most of these birds breed in grassy prairies of south-central Canada, the upper Mississippi Valley, and the Great Lakes region. Another breeding population prefers the interiors of Alaska, Yukon and Northwest Territories of Canada. Even on their winter grounds, these birds prefer grass plains.

Despite the wide separation between breeding centers, today’s science regards the Upland Sandpiper as monotypic (i.e. no subspecies).

I’ve experienced but one meeting with this species. While I was passing through Delta Junction in central Alaska, I veered from the highway to explore an area referred to as the Delta Agricultural Project. I enjoyed a brief, but close encounter with a bird only a few feet from where I stopped my car to listen for birds.

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