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8

Common Sandpiper

(Actitis hypoleucos)
Alternate name(s): "Summer Snipe"
German name(s): "Flussuferläufer"

Size: 19-21 cm; wing span 35-41 cm
Weight: 33-70 g

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Common Sandpiper at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

ADULT

Sex unknown

BREEDING

Near-frontal view of a Common Sandpiper (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[River Bug, near Malkinia, Masovia, Poland, August 2019]

Near-frontal view of a Common Sandpiper (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[River Bug, near Malkinia, Masovia, Poland, August 2019]

Near-frontal view of a Common Sandpiper (photo courtesy of G. Pinelas)
[Cascais, Lisbon, Portugal, March 2017]

Lateral view of a Common Sandpiper (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Tejo estuary, Portugal, March 2016]

Lateral view of a Common Sandpiper stretching a wing (photo courtesy of G. Pinelas)
[Cascais, Lisbon, Portugal, March 2017]

Near-dorsal view of a Common Sandpiper (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, March 2016]

Lateral view of a Common Sandpiper in flight; note the prominent wing bar (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Tejo estuary, Portugal, August 2018]

NON-BREEDING

Near-frontal view of a Common Sandpiper on its perch (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, January 2015]

Lateral view of a Common Sandpiper (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, September 2015]

Dorsal view of a Common Sandpiper (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, November 2014]

Comparison between a Common Sandpiper, left, and a Green Sandpiper, both in non-breeding plumage
(photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, September 2018]

Northern Lapwings in non-breeding plumage, together with several species of very similar waders: Green Sandpiper, front left, Wood Sandpiper, near the centre, and all others are Common Sandpipers (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Malkinia, Masovia, Poland, July 2019]

More photos were taken by us in Oman and in Australia.

Behaviour

Common Sandpipers are well-known for bobbing their tails. This proved to be a major loss of potentially good photos during the course of our observations...

Common Sandpiper in a very typical stance seen, e.g., just before striking a flying insect (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Malkinia, Masovia, Poland, July 2019]

Food, Diet

Like other members of the Tringa, Xenus and Actitis families we have seen Common Sandpipers hunt insects (in particular flies) and other small animals along the edges of shallow water. Common Sandpipers are excellent flycatchers.

Frontal view of a Common Sandpiper hunting a fly (photo courtesy of G. Pinelas)
[Cascais, Lisbon, Portugal, March 2017]

Near-frontal view of a Common Sandpiper hunting a fly in the characteristic stance (photo courtesy of G. Pinelas)
[Cascais, Lisbon, Portugal, March 2017]

Near-frontal view of a Common Sandpiper taking a fly in the characteristic stance (photo courtesy of G. Pinelas)
[Cascais, Lisbon, Portugal, March 2017]

Near-lateral view of a Common Sandpiper hunting in fast-flowing water (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, December 2016]

Lateral view of a Common Sandpiper hunting a fly in the characteristic stance (photo courtesy of G. Pinelas)
[Cascais, Lisbon, Portugal, March 2017]

Lateral view of a Common Sandpiper feeling for prey under water (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[River Bug, near Malkinia, Masovia, Poland, August 2019]

Lateral view of a Common Sandpiper, with its prey, and a female Western Yellow Wagtail (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[River Bug, near Malkinia, Masovia, Poland, August 2019]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

comspip_dw_20190909.m4a (Poland) Contact calls (Q&A, in-flight) © DW

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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