Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper - Calidris acuminata
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General Comments For the "longest time", the state's birders were looking for this Old World shorebird to add to the North Carolina list; many or most other East coast states already had records. Virginia already had four records by 2007, for example. Finally, a juvenile was seen at a sod farm in Craven, on 31 Aug 2009* [Chat 74:25 link], [Chat 75:1 link]; however, it was accepted only on a second vote. A year later, the first confirmation came -- one was well photographed along the beach at Fort Fisher, on 15 Oct 2010* [Chat 75:1 link], [Chat 75:44 link]. It was accepted at roughly the same time as the 2009 bird, and thus each record has a claim to being the "first" for the state.
Breeding Status Nonbreeder
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank SA
Global Rank G5
Coastal Plain Two records (see above).
Piedmont No records.
Mountains No records.
Finding Tips The species can easily be overlooked as a Pectoral Sandpiper, and it has basically the same habits as a Pectoral, as the Sharp-tailed is the Old World counterpart for it. Thus, keep an eye out for a Sharp-tailed around sod farms in fall, perhaps the best places to look for it. As shorebird strays typically show up along the coast in fall, sooner or later one will be seen around the impoundments at Pea or Bodie islands, or at Cape Hatteras Point.
Attribution LeGrand[2018-02-01], LeGrand[2011-11-19], LeGrand[2011-06-11]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.
NA Maps
(source NatureServe)

View NatureServe distribution maps for Calidris acuminata