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Bird name:

Common Sandpiper

Actitis hypoleucos




Sandpipers (Scolopacidae)





Euring 5

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Common Sandpiper Head Illustration
  • Bill Shape: Dagger
  • Eye Colour: Dark brown.
  • Head Pattern: Eyeline
  • Crown Colour: Brown to grey-brown.
  • Forehead Colour: Brown to grey-brown.
  • Nape Colour: Brown to grey-brown.
  • Throat Colour: White
  • Cere colour: No Data


Common Sandpiper Body Illustration
  • Length Range: 19-21 cm (7.5-8.3 in)
  • Weight: 50 g (1.765 oz)
  • Size: Small (13 - 23 cm)
  • Colour Primary: White, Brown, Grey
  • Underparts: White
  • Upperparts: Grey-brown
  • Back Pattern: Barred or banded
  • Belly Pattern: Solid
  • Breast Pattern: Striped or streaked


Common Sandpiper Flight Illustration
  • Flight Pattern: Direct flight, low over water, alternates flapping with glides.
  • Wingspan Range: 39-41 cm (15.4-16.1 in)
  • Wing Shape: Tapered-Wings
  • Tail Shape: Rounded Tail
  • Tail Pattern: Solid to lightly barred, white outer feathers are barred.
  • Upper Tail: Grey-brown with white-barred outer feathers.
  • Under Tail: White
  • Leg Colour: Yellow-green to grey-green.
4 and 6 letter alpha codesX

The four letter common name alpha code is is derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name. The six letter species name alpha code is derived from the first three letters of the scientific name (genus) and the first three letters of the scientific name (species). See (1) below for the rules used to create the codes..

Four-letter (for English common names) and six-letter (for scientific names) species alpha codes were developed by Pyle and DeSante (2003, North American Bird-Bander 28:64-79) to reflect A.O.U. taxonomy and nomenclature (A.O.U. 1998) as modified by Supplements 42 (Auk 117:847-858, 2000) and 43 (Auk 119:897-906, 2002). The list has been updated by Pyle and DeSante to reflect changes reported by the A.O.U from 2003 through 2006.


The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) was established in the mid-1990 s as a cooperative project among several federal agencies to improve and expand upon taxonomic data (known as the NODC Taxonomic Code) maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To find the ITIS page for a bird species go to the ITIS web site advanced search and report page at You can enter the TSN or the common name of the bird. It will return the ITIS page for that bird. Another way to obtain the ITIS page is to use the Google search engine. Enter the string ITIS followed by the taxonomic ID, for example "ITIS 178041" will return the page for the Allen's Hummingbird.

Parts of a Standing birdX
Head Feathers and MarkingsX
Parts of a Flying birdX