Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Boundary Bay

My schedule this semester is such that I have Tuesdays off, so what better thing is there to do on a free day than go birding! I arrived at the south end of 104th street where I met another birder who informed me that there was not one, but two Buff-breasted Sandpipers west of the pylons along the dyke between 104th and 96th.

I hurried out there, only stopping once to watch a female American Kestrel being chased by a group of five Savannah Sparrows, and found a few birders observing the pair forage along the foreshore close to the dyke.

This species breeds along the arctic coastline of central Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut (1). During spring migration birds take a direct route across the Gulf of Mexico and move through central North America, but during fall migration the southward movement of the species across Canada and the United States is much more spread out (1). Buff-breasted Sandpiper can be observed right across Canada from British Columbia to Nova Scotia from about late July to late September or early October (1, 2).

After having my full of the two sandpipers I continued on to 96th street where I witnessed a Parasitic Jaeger chasing a young gull. On my return walk to the parking lot at 104th I picked up a couple of Red Knots in a group of Black-bellied Plover as well as a Merlin on a utility pole; another fantastic outing at Boundary Bay.


  1. Lanctot, R. B. and C. D. Laredo. 1994. Buff-breasted Sandpiper (Tryngites subruficollis), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu.proxy.lib.sfu.ca/bna/species/091doi:10.2173/bna.91
  2. Campbell, R. W. and P. T. Gregory. 1976. The Buff-breasted Sandpiper in British Columbia, with notes on its migration in North America. Syesis 9:123-130.

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