Common Sandpiper | Actitis hypoleucos

The Common Sandpiper is the most common Sandpiper within South and Southern Africa and can often be seen running around, especially on rocks, and then "bobbing" back and forth when it stands still.

Roberts Information On The Common Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper birdsinsaThe Common Sandpiper is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Scolopacidae bird family group which includes birds such as Snipes, Godwits, Curlews, Whimbrels, Shanks, Stints, Sandpipers, Ruff, Turnstones, Phalaropes.

The description for the Common Sandpiper (Latin name Actitis hypoleucos) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Actitis hypoleucos can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 264 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 360. You will find a picture of the Common Sandpiper on page 369.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Common Sandpiper between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Common Sandpiper is known in Afrikaans as Gewone Ruiter.

The Common Sandpiper has a height of 21 cms and weighs around 50 gms. The head is coloured olive, grey while the bill is coloured black. The Actitis hypoleucos has a white coloured throat, grey legs and a black coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is olive, grey.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is black.

Legs are grey.

Throat is white.

Back is black.

Photo's & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult Adult Common Sandpiper
Female Adult Same as above.
Juvenile Same as above.
Non Breeding Plumage N/A

Common Sandpiper Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

Common Sandpiper Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Common Sandpiper is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Common Sandpiper is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

It is also seen in flocks.