Breed in northern parts of Eurasia and North America; specifically western Alaska, Ellesmere Island, Greenland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and northern Russia.
They migrate south to winter on the coastlines from Washington and Massachusetts southwards to the southern tip of South America. In Europe; they winter in western regions from Iceland, Norway and Denmark southwards.
These small wading birds are small and stocky bird, measuring about 8.7 - 9.4 inches (22 - 24 cm) in length.
The bill is dark and wedge-shaped, and slightly upturned. The legs are short and orange.
There is a distinct harlequin-like pattern of black and white on the back. Breeding birds are reddish-brown above with black markings. The head is mostly white with black streaks on the crown and a black pattern across the face. The chest is mostly black except for a white patch on the sides. The rest of the underparts is white.