Common sandpiper

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Common sandpiper
Actitis hypoleucos - Laem Pak Bia.jpg
Adult, Laem Pak Bia, Thailand
Bird recorded in Scotland
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Scolopacidae
Genus: Actitis
Species:
A. hypoleucos
Binomial name
Actitis hypoleucos
ActitisHypoleucosIUCNver2018 2.png
Range of A. hypoleucos     Breeding     Non-breeding     Passage     Possibly Extant (non-breeding)     Possibly Extant (passage)
Synonyms

Tringa hypoleucos Linnaeus, 1758

The common sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) is a small Palearctic wader. This bird and its American sister species, the spotted sandpiper (A. macularia), make up the genus Actitis . They are parapatric and replace each other geographically; stray birds of either species may settle down with breeders of the other and hybridize. Hybridization has also been reported between the common sandpiper and the green sandpiper, a basal species of the closely related shank genus Tringa .

Contents

Taxonomy

The common sandpiper was one of the many bird species originally described by Linnaeus in the landmark 1758 10th edition of his Systema Naturae , where it was given the binomial name of Tringa hypoleucos. [2] The current scientific name is from Ancient Greek. Actitis is from aktites, "coast-dweller" derived from akte, "coast", and hypoleucos is from hupo, "beneath", and leukos "white". [3]

Description

The adult is 18–20 cm (7.1–7.9 in) long with a 32–35 cm (13–14 in) wingspan. It has greyish-brown upperparts, white underparts, short dark-yellowish legs and feet, and a bill with a pale base and dark tip. In winter plumage, they are duller and have more conspicuous barring on the wings, though this is still only visible at close range. Juveniles are more heavily barred above and have buff edges to the wing feathers. [4]

This species is very similar to the slightly larger spotted sandpiper (A. macularia) in non-breeding plumage. But its darker legs and feet and the crisper wing pattern (visible in flight) tend to give it away, and of course they are only rarely found in the same location. [4]

Ecology

It is a gregarious bird and is seen in large flocks, and has the distinctive stiff-winged flight, low over the water, of Actitis waders. The common sandpiper breeds across most of temperate and subtropical Europe and Asia, and migrates to Africa, southern Asia and Australia in winter. The eastern edge of its migration route passes by Palau in Micronesia, where hundreds of birds may gather for a stop-over. They depart the Palau region for their breeding quarters around the last week of April to the first week of May. [4] [5]

Wintering bird foraging matakakoni-style, Puri (Odisha, India) Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) probing mud banks in Kolkata I IMG 4169.jpg
Wintering bird foraging matakakoni-style, Puri (Odisha, India)
Egg of Actitis hypoleucos - MHNT Actitis hypoleucos MHNT.jpg
Egg of Actitis hypoleucos - MHNT

The common sandpiper forages by sight on the ground or in shallow water, picking up small food items such as insects, crustaceans and other invertebrates; it may even catch insects in flight. In the Nukumanu language of the Nukumanu Islands (Papua New Guinea), this species is usually called tiritavoi. Another Nukumanu name for it, matakakoni, exists, but this is considered somewhat taboo and not used when children and women are around. The reason for this is that matakakoni means "bird that walks a little, then copulates", in reference to the pumping tail and thrusting head movements the Actitis species characteristically perform during foraging. [4] [6]

It nests on the ground near freshwater. When threatened, the young may cling to their parent's body to be flown away to safety. [4] [7]

The common sandpiper is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

It is widespread and common, and therefore classified as a species of least concern by the IUCN but is a vulnerable species in some states of Australia. [1]

Related Research Articles

Eurasian wigeon Species of bird

The Eurasian wigeon, also known as widgeon is one of three species of wigeon in the dabbling duck genus Mareca. It is common and widespread within its range.

Eurasian teal Species of bird (duck)

The Eurasian teal, common teal, or Eurasian green-winged teal is a common and widespread duck which breeds in temperate Eurasia and migrates south in winter. The Eurasian teal is often called simply the teal due to being the only one of these small dabbling ducks in much of its range. The bird gives its name to the blue-green colour teal.

Garganey Species of bird

The garganey is a small dabbling duck. It breeds in much of Europe and western Asia, but is strictly migratory, with the entire population moving to southern Africa, India, Bangladesh and Australasia in winter, where large flocks can occur. This species was first described by Linnaeus in 1758. Like other small ducks such as the common teal, this species rises easily from the water with a fast twisting wader-like flight.

Common redshank Species of bird

The common redshank or simply redshank is a Eurasian wader in the large family Scolopacidae. The genus name Tringa is the New Latin name given to the green sandpiper by Aldrovandus in 1599 based on Ancient Greek trungas, a thrush-sized, white-rumped, tail-bobbing wading bird mentioned by Aristotle. The specific totanus is from Tótano, the Italian name for this bird.

Green sandpiper Species of bird

The green sandpiper is a small wader (shorebird) of the Old World. The genus name Tringa is the New Latin name given to the green sandpiper by Aldrovandus in 1599 based on Ancient Greek trungas, a thrush-sized, white-rumped, tail-bobbing wading bird mentioned by Aristotle. The specific ochropus is from Ancient Greek okhros, "ochre", and pous, "foot".

Common greenshank Species of bird

The common greenshank is a wader in the large family Scolopacidae, the typical waders. The genus name Tringa is the New Latin name given to the green sandpiper by Aldrovandus in 1599 based on Ancient Greek trungas, a thrush-sized, white-rumped, tail-bobbing wading bird mentioned by Aristotle. The specific nebularia is from Latin nebula "mist". Like the Norwegian Skoddefoll, this refers to the greenshank's damp marshy habitat.

Spotted sandpiper Species of bird

The spotted sandpiper is a small shorebird, 18–20 cm (7.1–7.9 in) long. The genus name Actitis is from Ancient Greek aktites, "coast-dweller", derived from akte, "coast", and macularius is Latin from macula, "spot".

Marsh sandpiper Species of bird

The marsh sandpiper is a small wader. It is a rather small shank, and breeds in open grassy steppe and taiga wetlands from easternmost Europe to central Asia. The genus name Tringa is the New Latin name given to the green sandpiper by Aldrovandus in 1599 based on Ancient Greek trungas, a thrush-sized, white-rumped, tail-bobbing wading bird mentioned by Aristotle. The specific stagnatilis is from Latin stagnum, "swamp".

Wood sandpiper Species of bird

The wood sandpiper is a small wader. This Eurasian species is the smallest of the shanks, which are mid-sized long-legged waders of the family Scolopacidae. The genus name Tringa is the New Latin name given to the green sandpiper by Aldrovandus in 1599 based on Ancient Greek trungas, a thrush-sized, white-rumped, tail-bobbing wading bird mentioned by Aristotle. The specific glareola is from Latin glarea, " gravel".

Red-necked phalarope Species of bird

The red-necked phalarope is a small wader. This phalarope breeds in the Arctic regions of North America and Eurasia. It is migratory, and, unusually for a wader, winters at sea on tropical oceans.

Red phalarope Species of bird

The red phalarope, Phalaropus fulicarius, is a small wader. This phalarope breeds in the Arctic regions of North America and Eurasia. It is migratory, and, unusually for a wader, migrating mainly on oceanic routes and wintering at sea on tropical oceans.

Pied avocet Species of bird

The pied avocet is a large black and white wader in the avocet and stilt family, Recurvirostridae. They breed in temperate Europe and western and Central Asia. It is a migratory species and most winter in Africa or southern Asia. Some remain to winter in the mildest parts of their range, for example in southern Spain and southern England. The pied avocet is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

Terek sandpiper Species of bird

The Terek sandpiper is a small migratory Palearctic wader species and is the only member of the genus Xenus. It is named after the Terek River which flows into the west of the Caspian Sea, as it was first observed around this area. The genus name Xenus is from Ancient Greek xenos stranger, and cinereus is Latin for "ash-grey" from cinis, cineris, "ashes".

Black-hooded oriole species of bird

The black-hooded oriole is a member of the oriole family of passerine birds and is a resident breeder in tropical southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka east to Indonesia.

Spoon-billed sandpiper Species of bird

The spoon-billed sandpiper is a small wader which breeds in north-eastern Russia and winters in Southeast Asia. This species is highly threatened, and it is said that since the 1970s the breeding population has decreased significantly. By 2000 the estimated breeding population of the species was 350–500.

<i>Actitis</i> Genus of birds

Actitis is a small genus of waders, comprising just two very similar bird species:

Hybridisation in shorebirds has been proven on only a small number of occasions; however, many individual shorebirds have been recorded by birdwatchers worldwide that do not fit the characters of known species. Many of these have been suspected of being hybrids. In several cases, shorebird hybrids have been described as new species before their hybrid origin was discovered. Compared to other groups of birds, only a few species of shorebirds are known or suspected to hybridize, but nonetheless, these hybrids occur quite frequently in some cases.

In the 10th edition of Systema Naturae published in 1758, the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus described 554 species of bird and gave each a binomial name.

References

  1. 1 2 BirdLife International (2012). "Actitis hypoleucos". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . IUCN. 2012: e.T22693264A38824217. doi: 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2012-1.RLTS.T22693264A38824217.en .
  2. Linnaeus, Carl (1758). Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, Secundum Classes, Ordines, Genera, Species, cum Characteribus, Differentiis, Synonymis, Locis (in Latin). Vol. I (10th revised ed.). Holmiae: (Laurentii Salvii). p. 149 via The Internet Archive.
  3. Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 31, 199. ISBN   978-1-4081-2501-4.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Hayman, Peter; Marchant, John; Prater, Tony (1986). Shorebirds: an identification guide to the waders of the world. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN   0-395-60237-8.
  5. VanderWerf, Eric A.; Wiles, Gary J.; Marshall, Ann P.; Knecht, Melia (2006). "Observations of migrants and other birds in Palau, April–May 2005, including the first Micronesian record of a Richard's Pipit" (PDF). Micronesica. 39 (1): 11–29.
  6. Hadden, Don W. (2004). "Birds of the northern atolls of the North Solomons Province of Papua New Guinea" (PDF). Notornis. 51 (2): 91–102.
  7. Mann, Clive F. (1991). "Sunda Frogmouth Batrachostomus cornutus carrying its young" (PDF). Forktail . 6: 77–78. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-02-20.