Christopher Taylor Bird Nature Wildlife Mammal Photography
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Common Sandpiper Photo @
Location: Pak Thale, Phetchaburi, Thailand
GPS: 13.1N, 100.1E, elev=3' MAP
Date: January 13, 2011
ID : B13K6404 [4896 x 3264]

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Common Sandpiper Photo @
Location: Mai Po Nature Reserve, Hong Kong, China
GPS: 22.5N, 114.0E, elev=1' MAP
Date: January 10, 2014
ID : B13K5574 [4896 x 3264]

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Common Sandpiper Image @
Location: Bang Pu, Thailand
GPS: 13.5N, 100.7E, elev=0' MAP
Date: January 8, 2011
ID : B13K5689 [4896 x 3264]

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at Puri in Orissa, India. at Puri in Orissa, India. At Purbasthali in Burdwan District of West Bengal, India.

The Common Sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos, is a small wader, 18 - 20 cm long with a 32-35 cm wingspan. Together with its sister species, the Spotted Sandpiper (A. macularia) they make up the genus Actitis. They replace each other geographically; stray birds may settle down with breeders of the other species and hybridize. Hybridization has also been reported between the Common Sandpiper and the Green Sandpiper, a basal species of the closely related shank genus Tringa.

The adult has greyish brown upperparts, white underparts, short yellowish legs and a bill with a pale base and dark tip. Juveniles are barred above and have buff edges to the wing feathers.

This species is very similar to its closely related American counterpart, the slightly larger Spotted Sandpiper, in its non-breeding plumage, but its darker, olive legs and feet and the crisper wing pattern in flight tend to give it away; non-breeding Common Sandpipers also have some barring on the wings visible at close range (see image below and compare with winter Spotted Sandpiper here). Like that species, it has a distinctive stiff-winged flight low over the water.

The Common Sandpiper breeds across most of Europe and Asia. It nests on the ground near fresh water.

It migrates to Africa, southern Asia and Australasia. This is not a gregarious bird and is seldom seen in large flocks.

The Common Sandpiper forages by sight on the ground or in shallow water, picking up small food items such as insects, crustaceans and other invertebrates. It may also catch insects in flight.

The Common Sandpiper is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

In the Nukumanu language of the Nukumanu Islands, Papua New Guinea, a name for this species is matakakoni, but this is considered somewhat taboo; usually, the bird is called tiritavoi. The reason for this is that matakakoni means "bird that walks a little, then copulates" (Hadden, 2004), in reference to the pumping tail and thrusting head movements the Actitis species characteristically perform during foraging.


In Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

Probing mud banks in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

near Hodal in Faridabad District of Haryana, India.

Common Sandpiper

Non-breeding adult or juvenile

Common Sandpiper

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common_sandpiper's Range Map Click here to see the Common Sandpiper's range map!
Listen to the Common Sandpiper Song:

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