Breeding habitat is on open tundra from near treeline to edges of polar seas. Prefers areas with mounds, hillocks or rocks that serve as perches and nest sites, also sparse, low vegetation and dwarf shrubs and lichen (Holt et al. 1999). In the Yukon, this species inhabits tussock tundra on the coastal plain (Alexander et al. 2003). Winter habitat includes open country such as prairie, marshes, fields, pastures and sand dunes (AOU 1983) or tidal shores where prey is most available. Hunts in lowland salt grass meadows or poorly drained freshwater meadows (Parmelee 1992).
Alexander, S. A., F. I. Doyle, C. D. Ecker, H. Grünberg, N. L. Hughes, M. Jensen, I. Johnson, D. H. Mossop, W. A. Nixon, and P. H. Sinclair. 2003. Birds of the Yukon Territory (P. H. Sinclair, W. A. Nixon, C. D. Eckert, and N. L. Hughes, eds.). UBC Press, Vancouver, B.C.
Holt, D. W., R. Berkeley, C. Deppe, P. L. Enriques-Rocha, P. D. Olsen, J. L. Peterson, J. L. Rangel-Salazar, K. P. Segars, and K. Wood. 1999. Family Strigidae. Pp. 153-242. In: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott, and J. Sargatal (Eds.). Handbook of the birds of the world. Volume 5: Barn-owls to hummingbirds. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain. 759 pp.
Parmalee, D. F. 1992. White-rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis). In The Birds of North America, No. 29 (A. Poole and F. Gill, Eds.). Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington, D.C.: The American Ornithologists’ Union.