Buff-breasted Sandpiper

This arctic breeding shorebird is generally uncommon in Alaska, primarily along the eastern side of the Beaufort Sea. As such it is a somewhat surprising candidate for occurring in the Pribilof Islands. Nevertheless Buff-breasted Sandpipers have been recorded on Saint Paul in 1995, 1999, 2001 and 2004. The sightings are all in fall, with the earliest date falling on August 13, and the latest on September 9. The ’95, ’99, and ’01 sightings all involved single birds, but in 2004 there was a major influx of at least six individuals. Some care must be taken to separate this species from juvenile Ruffs, which are annual in the Pribilofs. Juvenile Ruffs are larger and lankier than Buff-breasted Sandpipers, with a more heavily streaked pattern on their upper parts (lacking the white scalation of Buff-breasted), a white U-shaped rump patch and a dark post-ocular stripe.