Wandering Tattler

Tringa incana
Range Map

The Wandering Tattler nests in rocky areas along mountain streams of Alaska and northwest Canada. They winter along rocky coastlines of California and Mexico. As their name suggests, wander they will. Sightings from places as far out of their predicted range, such as Australia, occasionally reported. Small, but regular numbers breed across the Bering Straights on Russia’s Chukchi Peninsula.

Scientists who study this species have struggled with how it fits into shorebird taxonomy. DNA analysis is pending, and we could see revisions in the near future. Studies are difficult, partly because of a relatively small population, and much of their habitat (both summer and winter) is in remote regions, making it difficult to observe. Their slate-gray coloring lets it all but disappear in its surroundings.

Today’s science regards the Wandering Tattler as monotypic (i.e. no subspecies).

Most of my meetings with this species have come from the rocky shores of La Jolla (California), but I’ve also found them near Crescent City (California) near the border with Oregon.

Click map markers to reveal further information