This sparrow-sized sandpiper has short, black legs. The base of the lower bill is
dull red but appears black in most instances. The wings extend beyond the tail when at
rest. In all plumages, a noticeable supercilium, white rump and prominent black stripes
and chevrons mark the breast and sides. They often forage in the vegetated edges of
wetlands and in flooded fields.
White-rumped Sandpipers can be an identification challenge. Both White-rumped and Bairds sandpipers have wing tips which extend past the
tail, which eliminates Semipalmated and Western sandpipers. Compared to Bairds, White-rumped
Sandpipers are greyer in color and have prominent superciliums. The presence of a white
rump, seen in flight or when the wings are raised, is definitive.
arctic tundra nester, White-rumped Sandpipers winter on beaches and mudflats in southern
South America. They arrive in the Great Plains later during spring migration than other
sandpipers. A circular migration pattern, which is closer to the Atlantic Ocean on their
southbound journey, makes them rare during fall migration.