Pectoral Sandpiper

Calidris melanotos

This species is a regular migrant in the Pribilof Islands. Many Pectoral Sandpipers actually cross the Bering Sea in spring and fall as they travel to and from their breeding grounds along the northern coast of the Russian Far East. The spring passage generally involves a small number of birds, which arrive on Saint Paul between May 15 and June 20. The fall passage is much more protracted, with southbound adults appearing in early July and groups of Juveniles passing through from early August through at least mid-October. Occasionally in fall, large flocks of juveniles (numbering dozens of individuals) linger for days around the island’s marshier lakes. Along with these flocks of Pectorals will often be a few Sharp-tailed Sandpipers. Sharp-taileds can be picked out by their more brightly colored birds can be picked out by their dark and well-marked cap, and brighter buffy throats and largely unstreaked breasts. The call notes of the two species are also distinctive. Pectorals give a throaty “krrrr” call upon takeoff, whilst Sharp-tailed’s give a faint “wheep”.