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the web of life in southern Africa

Calidris melanotos (Pectoral sandpiper) 

Geelpootstrandloper [Afrikaans]; Gestreepte strandloper [Dutch]; Bécasseau à poitrine cendrée [French]; Graubrust-strandläufer [German]; Pilrito-peitoral [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Charadriiformes > Family: Scolopacidae

Calidris melanotos (Pectoral sandpiper)  

Pectoral sandpiper, California, USA. [photo Jeff Poklen ©]


Distribution and habitat

Breeds at high latitudes in coastal tundra from Taimyr Peninsula, Siberia to the western coast of Hudson Bay, Canada. In the non-breeding season it heads south to South America between 20-40° South, with smaller numbers in east Asia, Australia and New Zealand. It is a rare vagrant to southern Africa, with over the three dozen records spread out across the region (excluding Mozambique), all sighted in the period from September-May. It is most commonly recorded along the west coast of the Western Cape, generally preferring freshwater wetlands with fringing grass, sewage works and small farm dams.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.