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 Least Sandpiper

Status in Michigan
Common Transient

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Least Sandpiper.

Use the links below to view the Least Sandpiper reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View Least Sandpiper sightings.
Least Sandpiper Archives Reports
Fall 2003 921
Spring 2003 93
Winter 02-03 0
Fall 2002 541
Summer 2002 57
Spring 2002 242
Winter 01-02 0
Fall 2001 1042
Summer 2001 259
Spring 2001 99
Winter 00-01 0
Fall 2000 468
Summer 2000 55
Spring 2000 41
Winter 00-99 0
Fall 1999 355
Spring/Summer 1999 6

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Least Sandpiper

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Least Sandpiper
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Least Sandpiper
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text

Erolia minutilla (Vieillot)
Least Sandpiper

Common transient.

Gibbs' statement (1879: 492) that the species bred in Michigan was apparently an error.

First listed for Michigan by Sager (1839: 416) : "Tringa minuta."

SPRING.-Main flight is reported from the middle to the latter part of May.

Lower Peninsula.-In the Toledo-Erie marsh area (L. W. Campbell, 1940: 78, 189, 203), individuals have arrived in the first week of May and remained until June 21 (1936, U.M.M.Z.), but main flight averages May 10 to May 25. Near Detroit, Swales noted Least Sandpipers from the first few days in May to about May 20; in 1907 he saw 50 there on May 11 and 100 on May 18. Smaller numbers have occurred in the Ann Arbor region rather irregularly in May (specimens in U.M.M.Z.), sometimes by the first week of the month, but usually not until the second or third week; 6 were observed May 26, 1935, at Whitmore Lake (Washtenaw County) by R. E. Olsen and A. D. Tinker. The species has also been irregular in Jackson County: R. E. Stewart collected an individual (U.M.M.Z.) at Portage Lake as early as April 21 (1938), and Fargo listed 20 birds there on May 6, 1924. About Battle Creek Walkinshaw listed the species during several spring seasons in the 1930's. In Kalamazoo County, where specimens (U.M.M.Z.) were collected in May, 1878 and 1879, Gibbs (1885: 166) found the species "not a rare transient." N. A. Wood collected a specimen (U.M.M.Z.) on Fish Point, Tuscola County, May 4, 1926; 10 or 20 were usually recorded there daily during May, 1926, and on May 20,100 were recorded. At Sand Point, Huron County, 6 specimens (3 in U.M.M.Z.) were collected on May 13,1935, by James H. Wood, and 100 observed on May 24, 1936, by Trautman. A specimen (U.M.M.Z.) was taken on Beaver Island, Charlevoix County, on May 19,1932, by Victor H. Cahalane; first arrivals were noted at Cheboygan (Blanchard and Nelson, MS of 1937) on May 20, 1937, and the species was observed near Alpena (by N. A. Wood) as late as June 9 (1922).

Upper Peninsula.-At Whitefish Point, Chippewa County (N. A. Wood, 1914: 62), arrival was noted and a specimen (U.M.M.Z.) collected on May 21 in 1914.

FALL.-Principal movement apparently occurs from mid-July to late August or early September.

Upper Peninsula.-On Isle Royale an individual was recorded on August 28, 1 on September 4, 2023 (N. A. Wood, Peet, and McCreary, 1906: 122) , and 5, of which 2 (U.M.M.Z.) were collected by N. A. Wood, on August 15,1929. Other reports from the Upper Peninsula include: birds seen July 21 to August 3 in the Porcupine Mountains, Ontonagon County (N. A. Wood, Peet, and McCreary, 1906:113); a flock of 15 or 20 on July 29,1909, in Dickinson County (Gaige, 1914: 79) ; 2 specimens (U.M.M.Z.) collected August 10 and 19 at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County (N. A. Wood, 1914; 62) ; 7 birds seen on September 2, 1935, at Munuscong Bay, Chippewa County (by Walkinshaw) ; and several in August and September (1917 to 1921) about Les Cheneaux Islands, Mackinac County (Van Tyne, 1923 : 22).

Lower Peninsula.-In the vicinity of Douglas Lake, Cheboygan County, this wader has been found from July 11 (Blanchard and Nelson, MS of 1937) to September 3 (1941, specimen from Cheboygan in Max M. Peet collection). It has occurred at Deer Lake, Charlevoix County, on August 22, 2023 (Van Tyne, 1925: 615) ; at Houghton Lake, Roscommon County, on August 12, 2023 (Fargo) ; at Lake City, Missaukee County, on August 31,2023 (Walkinshaw) ; and along the shore of Mason County in September (Chaney, 1910:273) . On the mainland and islands of Huron County (N. A. Wood and Gaige, 1911: 281; N. A. Wood, 1911: 90; 1912o: 182) it was present in small numbers from the second week in July to late August; at Fish Point, Tuscola County (N. A. Wood and R. E. Olsen), it was common in mid-July, 1934 (July 17, 30 birds, several in U.M.M.Z.; and July 18, 50 birds). Walkinshaw listed the species at Plainwell, Allegan County, on September 5, 1937; P. H. Chapin collected 2 specimens (U.M.M.Z.) at Kalamazoo in August, 1884 and 1885; F. W. Rapp (1931: 9) found it rare at Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County, from July 24 to August 13; and Walkinshaw reported it at corresponding dates about Battle Creek. Fargo reported on July 20, 1933, that Least Sandpipers "have been there [a mile west of Jackson] in some numbers for a week or two." At Portage Lake, Jackson County, where ordinarily only a few have been found in fall migration, 50 were noted on July 29, 1934, by R. E. Olsen, A. D. Tinker, and T. D. Hinshaw. At Ann Arbor Max M. Peet secured an individual as late as October 15 (1918). The species has been common about Detroit (Taverner and Swales, 1907: 85; Swales, notes), and Swales observed it regularly in 1905, re- cording 40 on July 12, 125 on August 5, and 15 on September 5. In the Toledo-Erie marsh area (L. W. Campbell, 1940: 78, 189, 203), individuals have occurred in summer and until the first part of November, passing through in sizable groups from July 13 to September 7, on the average.

Mueseum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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