Baird's Sandpiper Calidris bairdii


Justification of Red List Category
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend is not known however it is not thought to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The global population is estimated to number > c.300,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2015). The European population is estimated at 500-1,000 pairs, which equates to 1,000-2,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). The population in Russia has been estimated at < c.100,000 breeding pairs and < c.1,000 individuals on migration (Brazil 2009).

Trend justification
The global population trend is unknown (Wetlands International 2015) as is the European trend (BirdLife International 2015).


This species is fully migratory. Many migrate inland, across the North American prairies, the Rockies and northern Andes, often staging at high altitude lakes. Adults depart on autumn migration in early July, females slightly preceding males. Juveniles migrate later from the breeding grounds, from late July, in more leisurely fashion, and over a broader front. Northwards migration occurs largely along the same route. It is a vagrant to several European countries, especially Britain and Ireland, and also to Turkey, the Azores, Madeira, Canary and Cape Verde Islands. The species breeds on low mountain tops, river terraces and coastal barren areas and bluffs in high Arctic tundra; dry, high-lying lichen tundra and stony ridges. On migration and in winter the species occurs at inland wetlands to coastal habitats, including grassland, ditches, irrigated or rain-soaked fields, pools in desert, sand dunes; occasionally in upper littoral zone of estuaries, mudflats and beaches; usually on higher parts of the shore or dry fringes of wetland sites, often among vegetation. During the breeding season the diet consists mainly of insects, such as chironomid and cranefly larvae and adults, and beetles; also spiders. On migration, the species feeds on adult and larval beetles, larval Diptera. It is less gregarious than most other calidrines; in winter it can be found in flocks of 20–30 birds; some individuals defend feeding territory. Eggs are laid in June. Monogamous. Nest is relatively exposed; simple, shallow depression in bare ground, or amongst short vegetation, filled with bits of lichens or other vegetation (Van Gils et al. 2015).


The species may be vulnerable to climate change, driving a mismatch between breeding and peak cranefly abundance (Green and Pearce-Higgins 2014).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
The following information refers to the species's European range only: The species is not listed on priority lists of the Conventions.

Conservation Actions Proposed
The following information refers to the species's European range only: No conservation measures are thought to be currently needed for this species.


Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Westrip, J., Ashpole, J

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Calidris bairdii. Downloaded from on 17/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 17/08/2022.