Nature Of Migration In The Species
Complete, long-distance migrant between breeding areas in south Canada and north U.S. and wintering areas in South America. Both spring and fall, most follow the same narrow band, south-north and then north-south, through the Great Plains and Central America. Until end of nineteenth century, abundant in migration up through Texas and Louisiana to the plains states and as far east as Ohio. Fall migration begins unusually early, after a remarkably short period, typically four months, on the breeding grounds.
Timing And Routes Of Migration
SPRING Northbound migration generally proceeds from South America through Central America and Mexico, except Yucatán Peninsula and nw. Mexico (Sonora, Sinaloa, w. Chihuahua), where rarely observed, beginning in February and continuing through March, although some birds remain until April. From Mexico, Upland Sandpipers proceed northward via Texas, west Kansas and northwest. Mississippi, central Tennessee and arrive in North Dakota and Minnesota in early May. In Wisconsin, arrive to nesting area in mid-April. Smaller numbers occur farther east arriving in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maine from mid-April through mid-May. In Alaska, they usually appear in mid-May.
Latest Upland Sandpipers seen at Salto, 150 km west of Buenos Aires, Argentina, 18 March. Typically, those departing late from South America do not leave central Paraguay until 4 April; found in Buenos Aires and Baradero, Argentina, until 3 and 13 April; Corrientes Province, Argentina, until 14 April; Piedra Blanca, Bolivia, until 23 April; Tonantino, Brazil, until 7 May; Duenas, Guatemala, until 12 April; and Lake Catemaco, Veracruz, Mexico, until 5 May. Recorded as transient migrant in Venezuela from March-May, from Mérida and Barinas to Anzoátegui and Monagas, and in Amazonia. In Peru, occur February-April.
Occasional spring migrant in Belize mid-March to mid- to late May. Some northbound individuals reach Chaupicuz, Ecuador, by 30 March, and Comitan, Chiapas, Mexico on 29 March, although other individuals have been sighted at four Texas localities as early as 5-13 March. Peak of spring migration passes through Texas (up to 1,000 at Corpus Christi) in late March; Mississippi in mid March to late April; Oklahoma (400 at Norman) in early April; nw. Arkansas (184 at State Fish Hatchery) in late April, and N. Dakota (139 at Minot) in early May.
On the Canadian prairies, arrive late April to mid-May. Singles or odd-numbered flocks arrive in east Kansas from 9 to 19 April, and in Mahnomen County, Minnesota, from 1 to 6 May. Usually after 20 April in west Pennsylvania, pairs arrive together, with no competitive courting. Migrants (never more than 6/day) recorded mid-April through mid-May in New Jersey. In the Platte River valley, main migration 24 April to 10 May). As many as 100-190/day once moved through Wayne County, Indiana, 28 April-3 May. In 1980 and 1984, in Oregon, arrived on 3 and 4 May in Bear Valley and 6 and 7 May in the snow-covered Logan Valley (J. W. Scoville and S. G. Herman unpubl.). In Chilcotin-Caribou region of British Columbia, earliest date for arrival is 24 April. In 21 of 30 yr, first appeared in Alaska 11-17 May, with extremes of 8 May 1980, a phenologically early year, and 30 May in a late year, 1964. Migrants recorded west to California, where species is very rare. California spring records mainly during latter half of May.
From breeding grounds in North America, southbound migration typically occurs from mid-July to late August, starting earlier at more northern latitudes. Generally, larger numbers occur during southbound migration along Atlantic Coast than during northbound migration, from at least Massachusetts south to Florida Peninsula, where rare. Similarly, more numerous just west of main migration route (e.g., e. New Mexico) during southbound migration.
Following a compressed breeding season in northern limits of its range, Upland Sandpipers form small flocks of 10-45 individuals in upper Sheenjek Valley, Alaska, as early as 7-12 July. In British Columbia, most autumn migrants reported between mid-August and late September; from the Chilcotin-Caribou region of British Columbia, latest departure date is 1 October. Stops along Platte River, Nebraska, from 10 to 26 August .
Fall migration numbers peak (570) at Waggoner County, Oklahoma, in last half of July, and at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge, in extreme north Texas, in first half of August. Farther east, most have departed Quebec by late August, but stragglers have been observed through October. In New Jersey, migration begins mid-July and peaks early to mid-August, with few recorded after August. In South Carolina, migrants recorded 4 July through 28 October. In Mississippi, fall migrants recorded late July through mid-September. In Florida, where rare, sight reports extend from 6 July (also 2 reports in June) to 17 November. Migrants also recorded west to California, where very rare. California fall records mainly late August-mid-September. East of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, present in migration from 1 August through 29 September; in addition to those heard flying overhead, there were maximum sightings of 153 and 135 individuals, feeding on the ground, on 17 and 21 August. Rare fall migrant in Belize occurring late July to early October.
A few migrants observed well outside main migration corridors. A pair seen on St. Lawrence Island, Bering Sea, on 22 August 1972 may have been in migration. A late sighting in Newfoundland was recorded on 28 September 1983. Only one record in Bermuda prior to 1971, but since seen in 11 of 19 years; 60 seen in 1 day, 6 September 1980. One bird banded in Michigan on 5 July 1988 was recovered in Spain, 2 December 1988..
Little is known concerning extent of over-water flights or what proportions move south through Central America, across the central Caribbean, and farther east along the Windward Island. En route to South America, a rare migrant in the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and some of the Lesser Antilles including St. Barthélemy, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, Dominica and Barbados from Augustust to early October and decidedly less frequent during its return north in April and May. It is very rare on Cuba and the Cayman Islands during both migrations and is a vagrant elsewhere in the West Indies and on all islands outside the migration periods.
Upon reaching South America, southward migration typically continues through Colombia’s Orinoco Basin and across High Andes southwest into Ecuador as well as southeast into central Brazil and across Paraguay, where small numbers remain. Earliest arrival dates are 10 August for Carapungo, Ecuador. In Peru, a passage migrant from September-November. More continue on to Formosa and Corrientes Provinces in northeast Argentina by 25 and 30 August, Córdoba Province, Argentina by late August, and Salto in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina until 11 October and Artigas, Uruguay by mid-October. On the Popayán Plateau, Colombia, species occurred from August-November.
Migrates largely at night. Nocturnal flight over Iowa City, Iowa, in 1878, lasted more than an hour. At Norman, Oklahoma, at 23:00 on 11 May 1983, at least 2 weeks later than expected, J. A. Gryzbowski counted overhead calls of 160 Upland Sandpipers in 20 min. Also heard at night over Cordoba, Argentina. Similar, but intense, nocturnal vocalizations, generally one to six, heard on the Popayán Plateau, Colombia from the last week of August to the first week of November. Large, more intense vocalizations noted during the early morning periods on 16 September between 04h15 and 05h20, although vocalizations were also heard between 21h30 and 22h30.
In Alaska and the Yukon, where most arrive 11-17 May, a failed pair left the area on 7 July, whereas successful adults left on 31 July, in advance of their young; the last adult, when collected, proved to be a male.
Thanks to Houston, C. Stuart, Cameron R. Jackson and Daniel E. Bowen, Jr. 2011. Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.).species no.580