Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Actitis hypoleucos (Linnaeus, 1758)

Species:A. hypoleucos
Common Names:Common Sandpiper
Status:Common winter visitor and passage migrant


Adult (winter plumage): The entire upperpart is brownish olive, with a distinct bronzy gloss, greyer on the head and nape. It has a broad pale superciliary stripe. The underpart is white and sides of breast brownish. In flight, a white bar on the wing is conspicuous.

The adult in breeding plumage is not very different from that in winter plumage, but the upperparts of the former is darker and greyer, with less of the bronzy gloss. The white extends from the neck to the breast with brown streaks forming a breast band.

Size: 20 cm

Soft parts: Iris dark. Bill greenish black, paler at base. Feet greenish grey, yellower at knees

Read more about the Charadriiformes order.
Read more about the Scolopacidae family.


Changi, Khatib Bongsu, Kranji, Lorong Halus, Loyang, Mandai, Pasir Ris, Ponggul, Poyan, Pulau Ubin, Southern Islands, Sungei Buloh, Sungei Seletar, Turut Track, Upper Peirce Res, West Coast Park

Locality Map

General Biology

The Common Sandpiper occurs singly or in very small parties. It tends to bob its tail up and down as it walks about in search of food. When alarmed, it takes off in a short, jerky flight and lands a short distance away. It is less noisy and nervous than the rest of the sandpipers. As it flies, it makes a piping wee-wee-wee-wee.

It feeds by picking its prey from the edge of the water. Sometimes they clash using their feet and probably even their bills. Intraspecific territorial aggression has been observed whereby the birds confront each other with tails fanned out and wings raised.


It feeds on invertebrates such as crabs, insects, worms.


Wang, L. K. 2011. Sandpipers. Pp. 428–439. In: Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (editors). Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development. Editions Didier Millet, Singapore. 552 pp.

Wang, L. K. & C. J. Hails, 2007. An annotated checklist of the birds of Singapore. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement 15: 1–179.

Related Images

Related Activities/Events

Related Videos

Spot any errors? Have any questions? Something to contribute? Email us at dbsthh@nus.edu.sg!
Presented by

Sponsored by