Tringa solitaria solitaria, T. s. cinnamomea

Status:  Fairly common regular spring and fall migrant statewide.

Documentation: Specimen: UNSM ZM6144, 7 Jul 1902 Carns, Keya Paha Co.

Taxonomy: There are two subspecies, cinnamomea of Alaska and western Canada and solitaria of eastern British Columbia to Labrador (Gill and Donsker 2017).

Both subspecies occur in Nebraska, although field observers should be aware that fall juveniles, studied at close range, are the only individuals that can be reliably identified to subspecies in the field (Paulson 1993). Swenk and Fichter (1942) examined 10 Nebraska specimens and found that both eastern solitaria, and western cinnamomea were represented (five specimens of each). Each subspecies occurred statewide. Data gathered by Jon King (personal communication) suggests that a broad area centered on central or east-central Kansas is the area where equal numbers of each subspecies occurs. However, in Colorado cinnamomea outnumbers solitaria at least 50:1, and in Missouri most all birds are solitaria.

Spring:  Mar 28, 29, 30 <<<>>> May 27, 28, 29

This species does not usually arrive until the latter half of Apr and peak migration occurs during the first half of May. There are later reports 31 May 2017 Hooker Co, 2 Jun 2002, 5 Jun 1964 Webster Co, 5 Jun 1994 Scotts Bluff Co, 7-10 Jun 1966 Cass Co, and 9 Jun 1918 Lincoln Co (Tout 1947). These late spring dates are probably of immature birds that did not complete migration.

  • High counts: 9 along Road P51, Washington Co 28 Apr 2020, 7 in the eastern Rainwater Basin 3-4 May 2001, and 6 at Pioneers Park, Lancaster Co 5 May 2018.

Fall:  Jun 24, 24, 25 <<<>>> Oct 5, 7, 8

There are earlier dates 15 Jun 1994 Otoe Co, 19 Jun 2005 eastern Rainwater Basin (Jorgensen 2012), and 20 Jun 1968 McPherson Co; these were probably immature birds that did not complete migration. Latest date is of one at Lake Wanahoo, Saunders Co 22 Oct 2010.

Adults arrive by the end of Jun and are present through Jul; peak numbers occur in the second half of Jul. Juveniles arrive in mid-Aug and tend to outnumber adults shortly thereafter.  Most have moved south by mid- to late Sep, with only 23 reports after 23 Sep, most undocumented.

Juveniles of solitaria were noted in eastern Nebraska late Aug 1996 and of cinnamomea in early Sep.

  • High counts: 62 in the eastern Rainwater Basin 12 Jul 2003, 39 there 30 Jul 2000, and 38 there on 28 Jul 2001.


UNSM: University of Nebraska State Museum

Literature Cited

Gill, F., and D. Donsker (Eds). 2017. IOC World Bird List (v 7.3), accessed 30 January 2018.

Jorgensen, J.G. 2012.  Birds of the Rainwater Basin, Nebraska.  Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.

Paulson, D.R. 1993. Shorebirds of the Pacific Northwest. University of Washington Press, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Swenk, M.H., and E. Fichter. 1942. Distribution and migration of the Solitary Sandpiper in Nebraska. NBR 10: 15-22.

Tout, W. 1947. Lincoln County birds. Published by the author, North Platte, Nebraska, USA.

Recommended Citation

Silcock, W.R., and J.G. Jorgensen.  2020.  Solitary Sandpiper (Tringa solitaria). In Birds of Nebraska — Online.

Birds of Nebraska – Online

Updated 15 Jun 2020