Breeds in the open arctic tundra of North America. Migrate south to winter in northern South America. Vagrants are reported in western Europe, Japan and Australia. Non-breeding birds are generally found on inland water seasons and breeding birds along the coast.
These small shore birds have long, curved bills, long necks, pale "eye stripes" (superciliums) and white rumps that can best be seen in flight. They have long, pale legs.
Breeding plumage: Back is brown with darker feather centers. Below they are heavily barred. There are reddish patches above and below the "eye stripes."
Winter plumage: Grey above and white below.