BIRDS OF ICELAND : Calidris maritima, purple sandpiper

Calidris maritima; the purple sandpiper is, like all sandpipers, a small wader. The first impression one gets is that it is a rather dark sandpiper. This impression is due to the glossy purpelish top parts. Given right illumination, it becomes purplish. Underparts are light. This in contrast to another sandpiper common in Iceland, Calidris alpina = dunlin, which has a characteristic dark belly during the breeding season. The purple sandpiper is generally found along rocky shores with sea weeds growing on the rocks. However, it can breed in mountainous regions away from the direct sea-shores. In winter many migrants from Greenland and northern Canada flock to Iceland.

  Back to general list of all birds (entries start)

  Back to home page

A brief introduction to Iceland birds
Text & Photographs by Dick Vuijk
- unless stated otherwise

 A small flock of Purple Sandpipers on a rocky shore.
 Another photo of a Purple Sandpiper
 reload first photo

 A small flock.
 Another Purple Sandpiper
 reload first photo

 Press on photo for full size

Natural History of Iceland Site   Dutch