Calidris alba
Sanderlings appear to chase ocean waves/Photo Courtesy of Dr. Madeline Kalbach

The Sanderling is one of the most abundant sandpipers in the world, in the Refuge, and on the ocean beach.  It is a migrant that stops over in the Refuge and on the Ocean beach to feed. In breeding plumage it is rufous on its upperparts, head and breast. In winter it is the palest of all the sandpipers with a pale gray back and white below. The Sanderling races madly about at the edge of the water stopping frequently to pick small bits of food uncovered by the retreating waves. Its diet includes small crabs, worms and invertebrates.

Learn more about sanderlings…

Facts About Sanderling

Engages in conversational chatter while feeding

It is often referred to as the “wave chaser”

Has no hind toe