The Surfbird is genetically close to the Red Knot, a robin-sized shorebird. This bird has a short dark bill. In breeding plumage, it has dark streaks on the brownish head and breast with dark spots on its white underparts; the upperparts are dark with rust colouring on the wings.
Immature birds are mainly grey on the upperparts and breast and white on the underparts with streaking.
The only time the Surfbird leaves the coastline is to breed in a habitat of rocky tundra in Alaska and the Yukon.
Calls or song.
The Surfbird whistles, "tee-tee-tee".
Population and distribution.
These birds migrate to the Pacific coasts of North and South America, from southern Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. Those that make it to Patagonia, travel round trip 20,000 miles.
The Surfbird lays 4 olive-buff eggs, spotted brown. She scrapes a depression, lined with lichens, among the rocks.