Solitary Sandpipers have had five different calls described (BNA), two of which are associated exclusively with breeding. The other three occur at other times of the year and have been termed attack-flee, alarm-flee and contact. Attack-flee is a metallic alarm call given either on land or in flight, whereas the alarm-flee call is usually only given in flight, and is the typical flight call. Contact calls are quiet calls given between birds in close proximity.
The following are calls made by several migrant Solitary Sandpipers, including adults and juveniles, feeding on mudflats beside a pond at Palmyra, NJ in late August. There were disputes over feeding territory, which included short chases on the ground and in flight. Solitary Sandpipers, true to their name, do not tolerate very well others of their species when feeding.
In addition to the above-named calls, another, rapidly repeated call was frequently heard during aggressive interactions, a presumed threat call, that is not mentioned in the BNA account.
Note: the recordings were adversely affected by the inevitable insect din at this time of year.
Attack-flee calls. A Northern Waterthrush was chipping nearby and sounded quite similar to this call.
Rapidly repeated alarm-flee calls; the typical flight call.
Face-off between an adult and juvenile, with alarm-flee, attack-flee and rapid threat call.
attack-flee (left) and alarm-flee call
Alarm-flee call and threat call.
Attack-flee and threat calls.
Possible contact and alarm-flee calls. Contact calls appear as inverted chevrons on the sonagram.
possible contact calls