Assessing stopover habitat quality and refueling performance of individual birds is crucial to the conservation and management of migratory shorebirds. Plasma lipid metabolites indicate the trajectory of mass change in individuals and may be a more accurate measure of refueling performance at a particular site than static measures such as nutrient reserves. We measured lipid metabolites of Semipalmated Sandpipers at 4 coastal stopover sites during northward migration: Merritt Island, FL; Georgetown, SC; Pea Island, NC; and Delaware Bay, NJ. We described spatial and temporal variation in metabolic profiles among the 4 stopovers and evaluated the effects of body mass, age, and date on metabolite concentrations. Triglyceride concentration, an indicator of fat deposition, declined during the migration, whereas B-OH-Butyrate, a measure of fasting, increased. Triglyceride concentration correlated with phospholipids and inversely related to B-OH-butyrate, but was not related to body mass or age. Triglyceride levels and estimated percent fat were greater at Delaware Bay than at any stopovers to the south. Plasma metabolite profiles accurately reflected stopover refueling performance and provide an important new technique for assessing stopover habitat quality for migratory shorebirds.