Common Sandpiper

Actitis hypoleucos

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Sandpipers, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Code 4

COSA

Code 6

ACTHYP

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Common Sandpiper is a small wader with widespread distribution. It is found throughout Europe and Asia, where it prefers to breed. This species builds its nests on the ground and very near local supplies of fresh water. During winter months, The Common Sandpiper migrates south to warmer climates. Destinations include Africa, southern Asia and Australasia. This bird is seldom witnessed traveling in large flocks. The Common Sandpiper forages in water and on the ground for food, including invertebrates, crustaceans and insects. This species will also at times catch insects while flying through the air. The conservation rating for the Common Sandpiper is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Common Sandpiper: Eurasian counterpart to the Spotted Sandpiper; has dusky gray upperparts, heavily streaked breast, and sparkling white underparts. Best distinguished by its habit of standing in a semi-crouch and bobbing back and forth. Flies low over water with stiff shallow wing beats and glides.

 

Range and Habitat

Common Sandpiper: Breeds across much of Europe and Asia in temperate and subtropical regions. In nonbreeding season, wanders widely along fresh and salt water edges throughout Europe, Africa, Middle East, South Asia, and Australia. Very rarely found near the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. Found along the water's edge and grasslands.

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Common Sandpiper SONGS AND CALLS

Common Sandpiper H1

"Swee wee wee" calls.

Common Sandpiper H2

Flight calls.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"swee wee wee"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • In the Nukumanu language of the Nukumanu Islands, Papua New Guinea, a name for this species is matakakoni, but this is considered somewhat taboo; the reason for this is that matakakoni means "bird that walks a little, then copulates" in reference to the pumping tail and thrusting head movements it uses during foraging.
  • The Common Sandpiperis notable for a nervous mannerism of wagging its tail.
  • A group of sandpipers has many collective nouns, including a "bind", "contradiction", "fling", "hill", and "time-step" of sandpipers.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

RANGE MAP PALAU

About this Palau Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Palau islands.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X