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the web of life in southern Africa

Limicola falcinellus (Broad-billed sandpiper) 

Breëbekstrandloper [Afrikaans]; Breedbekstrandloper [Dutch]; Bécasseau falcinelle [French]; Sumpfläufer [German]; Pilrito-de-bico-largo [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

Limicola falcinellus (Broad-billed sandpiper)   

Broad-billed sandpiper in non-breeding plumage, India. [photo Arpit Deomurari ©]


Distribution and habitat

Breeds in patches in Scandinavia and Siberia; the latter population has non-breeding grounds in South-East Asia and Australia while the former heads south to India, Sri Lanka and to a much lesser extent Africa. It is a rare vagrant to southern Africa, with approximately approximately records in Zimbabwe and along the coast of Namibia, southern Mozambique and South Africa. It generally prefers muddy estuaries and pools near the sea as well as sewage works and salt pans.

Movements and migrations

All southern African sightings are in the period from September-January, especially November.


It specialises in feeding on polychaete worms, foraging by walking fairly quickly through mud, pecking left and right before occasionally probing more deeply to extract prey.


Not threatened.


  • 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.