Purple Sandpiper

Calidris maritima

Purple Sandpiper

Purple Sandpiper

Quick Facts


Scientific name:

Calidris maritima


Sandpipers, snipes and phalaropes

Conservation status:




20cm to 22cm


40cm to 44cm


60g to 75g

About the Purple Sandpiper

The purple sandpiper is a medium-sized wading bird. They are darker and bigger in size than a dunlin. Upperparts are mainly grey and lower parts being more of a whitish colour. Legs are short and a vibrant orange and beaks are slightly curved downwards. When flying they display thin white wing-stripes.

Purple Sandpipers are generally winter visitors to the rocky coasts of UK, but a few pairs do nest in Scotland. You'll find the majority of these birds in areas like Shetland, Orkney, in northern England and the east coast of Scotland. You won't see much south of Yorkshire, until areas like Cornwall and Devon.

What does a Purple Sandpiper eat?

Their diets consist of winkles, crustaceans, insects, spiders and plants.

Enjoyed this content? Share it now

Learn more about the Purple Sandpiper

Other birds in the Sandpipers, snipes and phalaropes family

Get the good stuff

Get the latest Birdfacts delivered straight to your inbox

© 2023 - Birdfact. All rights reserved. No part of this site may be reproduced without our written permission.