Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

This species is defined as a Review Species . Please submit your records of this species via our record submission page .

Scientific Name: Calidris acuminata

Malay Name: Kedidi Ekor Tajam

Chinese Name: 尖尾滨鹬

Range: Breeds in northeast Siberia; winters south to New Guinea, the Pacific Islands, and eastern Australia.

Taxonomy: Monotypic.

Size: 17-21 cm

Identification: A medium-sized sandpiper similar to the equally-rare Pectoral Sandpiper, recalls Long-toed Stint but ~50% larger. From Long-toed Stint, told by size, at least slight rufous tones on crown in all plumages, significantly longer legs giving taller appearance, and thicker bill. From Pectoral Sandpiper, distinguished by presence of streaking on flanks (versus clean flanks in that species), less distinct white supercilium, more warm tones on crown, and in breeding plumage, chevron-shaped (as opposed to pure streaked) markings on underparts; Pectoral also almost always shows pale tones on bill-base while Sharp-tailed often has all-dark bill.

Similar looking species: Long-toed Stint, Pectoral Sandpiper

Habitat: Mudflats, sandflats, flooded grasslands, and brackish lagoons.

Behaviour/Ecology: Typically feeds at water’s edge on insects, snails, and crustaceans.

Local Status: Very rare vagrant

Conservation Status: Vulnerable (BirdLife International 2022)

Past accepted records in our database:

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):


BirdLife International. (2022). Calidris acuminata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2022. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P., & Kirwan, G. M. (2020). Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata), version 1.0. In del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D. A., & de Juana, E. (Eds.), Birds of the World. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.