Family Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Least Concern

Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)


French: Chevalier guignette German: Flussuferläufer Spanish: Andarríos chico

Tringa Hypoleucos


, 1758,



Formerly considered conspecific with A. macularius and a mixed pairing with the latter has been recorded in Scotland#R. Monotypic.


Europe E across C Asia (extending S to W Himalayas) to Kamchatka, Sakhalin and Japan. Winters from W Europe and Africa through Middle East and S & SE Asia to Indonesia, New Guinea and Australia; irregularly on islands of W Pacific.

Descriptive notes

19–21 cm; 33–93 g; wingspan 38–41 cm. Small, short-legged sandpiper, with pale eye-ring; greenish-brown upperparts, white underparts with dark lateral... read more


Song (given by both sexes and usually accompanying display flights) is variable in both speed and... read more


Prefers margins of waterbodies, mostly riverbanks, preferably with pebbles, sand or rocks and... read more

Food and feeding

Adult and larval insects (e.g. beetles, Diptera), spiders, molluscs, crustaceans and annelids, sometimes frogs, tadpoles or small fish;... read more


Lays mainly May–Jun, but starts late Apr in NW Europe. Monogamous, but occasional polyandry reported and may be more frequent than... read more


Migratory, with birds perhaps capable of single flights of up to 4000 km in spring. Many move to S... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). European breeding population comprises 885,000 pairs (1986), of which 96% found in Fennoscandia (where numbers appear to have been... read more

Recommended citation

Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 28 January 2020).