Project Description

Common Sandpiper


The Common Sandpiper is a rather small, short-legged wader with a long, straight beak, drab colouration. And a distinctive ‘teetering’ behaviour, in which the head and the rear of the body are bobbed up and down when the bird is standing or walking. They are often seen near the water’s edge on beaches and mud flats. The Common Sandpiper is a migratory bird and a winter visitor to India. When in upland areas, they live along river, ponds, or lakes. Common Sandpiper spends a lot of time on the ground.

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Facts & Details:

  • Category: Waders
  • Scientific Name: Actitis hypoleucos
  • Sexes: Alike
  • Weight: 33 – 84 g
  • Nesting Period: May to June
  • Size: 18–20 cm (7.1–7.9 in) long with a 32–35 cm (13–14 in) wingspan
  • Current Population Trend: Decreasing
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern (LC) [IUCNREDLIST]

Common sandpiper Identification:

Common sandpiper Identification

  1. The head, upper breast and upperparts are grayish-brown with delicate dark streaking
  2. White wing-bar
  3. White Underparts
  4. Bill with a pale base and dark tip
  5. Short dark-yellowish legs and feet
  6. A white eye-ring is visible up close
  7. Horizontal Stance, long tail projecting well beyond closed wings & constant bobbing action.
  8. Brown rump and centre of the tail in flight.

The calls of the common sandpiper include a shrill, three-note twee-see-see, given when the bird takes off, while the song is a high, rapid titti-weeti, titti-weeti.

Range, Habitat, Diet and Behaviour:

Geographic Range: Common Sandpiper is a migratory species, its winter range extends from Western Europe and Africa, through the Middle East and South Asia, to Indonesia and Australia. The breeding range of the common sandpiper extends from Europe, east across central Asia, to Kamchatka and Sakhalin, Russia, and Japan.

Habitat: During the breeding season, the common sandpiper commonly inhabits the edges of water bodies, particularly the pebbly, sandy or rocky margins of rivers, as well as ponds, pools, lake shores, dams, estuaries and sheltered sea coasts. Foraging often takes place in grassland and dry meadows. In its winter range, the species occurs in a wide variety of habitats, from coastal shores, estuaries and salt marshes, to inland wetlands, riverbanks, pools, and even sewage works. It will also forage in grassland along roadsides and in urban areas, but generally avoids large coastal mudflats, as well as frozen, snow-covered or very hot areas.

Diet: The diet of this species consists of adult and larval insects, spiders & molluscs.

Behaviour: This species is a full migrant, migrating at night overland on a broad front across both deserts and mountains. The species breeds from May to June in scattered single pairs 60-70 m apart in optimal breeding habitat and migrates singly or in small flocks, although it usually remains solitary in its winter range.

Regional Names:

  • Gujarati Name: સામાન્ય તુતવારી, નાની તુતવારી
  • Bengali: পাতি বাটান
  • French: Chevalier guignette
  • Kannada: ಗದ್ದೆಗೊರವ
  • Malayalam: നീർക്കാട
  • Marathi: तुतवार, तुतारी
  • Nepali: चञ्चले सुड्सुडिया
  • Sanskrit: जलरंक
  • Tamil: சாதா உள்ளான்