Calidris is a genus of Arctic-breeding, strongly migratory wading birds in the family Scolopacidae. These birds form huge mixed flocks on coasts and estuaries in winter. They are the typical "sandpipers", small to medium-sized, long-winged and relatively short-billed.

Semipalmated sandpiper at JBWR (30545).jpg
Semipalmated sandpiper (Calidris pusilla), Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Scolopacidae
Genus: Calidris
Merrem, 1804
Type species
Tringa canutus
Linnaeus, 1758

Their bills have sensitive tips which contain numerous corpuscles of Herbst. This enables the birds to locate buried prey items, which they typically seek with restless running and probing.[1]


The genus Calidris was introduced in 1804 by the German naturalist Blasius Merrem with the red knot as the type species.[2][3] The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-coloured waterside birds.[4]

The genus contain 24 species:[5]


  1. ^ Nebel, S.; Jackson, D.L.; Elner, R.W. (2005). "Functional association of bill morphology and foraging behaviour in calidrid sandpipers" (PDF). Animal Biology. 55 (3): 235–243. doi:10.1163/1570756054472818. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-10. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  2. ^ Merrem, Blasius (8 June 1804). "Naturgeschichte". Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (in German). 168. Col. 542. Published anonymously.
  3. ^ Peters, James Lee, ed. (1934). Check-List of Birds of the World. Vol. 2. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 280.
  4. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 84. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  5. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2019). "Sandpipers, snipes, coursers". World Bird List Version 9.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 26 June 2019.