Wandering Tattler (Heteroscelus incanus)

This bird got its name for the great distances it covers during migration. Traveling up to 10 000 km to spend its winters in Ecuador or Hawaii, this wanderer has be a good flyer!


This medium-sized shorebird reaches no more than 30 cm in length and is recognized by its lack of distinguishing features. The male and female are similar in appearance with solid grey on its back, chest, and wings and a pale grey belly. Its breeding plumage is the same on the back but the chest and belly are barred with grey and white.


Breeding near mountain streams above the treeline in British Columbia and Alaska, the wandering tattler migrates south along the Pacific coast all the way to Ecuador to spend the winter!


The nests of the wandering tattler are simple depressions in gravel, lined with twigs and roots, and are located near mountain streams and meadows. Both parents incubate four eggs for up to 25 days.

While migrating, this bird follows rocky seacoasts and islands. In these areas, it can easily find the shrimp-like invertebrates which it eats.