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Common name Common sandpiper
Scientific name Actitis hypoleucos
Type Waterbirds
Status Migrator

Small wader bird (approx 20 cm or 8 in). Brown upperparts and white underparts. Grey-green legs and blackish grey bill. The Common Sandpiper features a white receding line from both sides of the breast to the neck. It balances head and tail when perched. In flight there is a white central fringe on the wings framed by a darker border.


Wetlands, River and Riverside

Where it lives

Species of fresh and brackish waters. Present in rivers, streams and reservoirs with beds and accumulations of gravel and sandbars. In winter it also uses coastal areas with salty waters (beaches, marshes and inlets).

How it lives

Bird present practically all year round in the province. There are specimens in the summer period although they do not breed. Malaga also hosts wintering individuals which can be observed in migratory passage. Nest on river banks and beds, on the ground. One laying at the end of April with 4 eggs. It feeds on aquatic insects and invertebrates that it captures in the water by introducing its bill in the mud of the shore. When it feeds or moves it teeters its body keeping only the head still, something typical of sandpipers. When it flies, it does so in short stretches, alternating the rapid beat of wings with short glides.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

In rocky areas, banks of rivers, reservoirs and coastal sands. Mouth of the Guadalhorce and irrigation dam of the Guadaiza.

Curious facts

The Spanish name for sandpipers is "andarríos" ("river walker") and this is so because of their habit of appearing on the banks of water courses, especially fresh. They are very sensitive to discomfort and pollution, which is why they are considered indicators of good environmental quality of rivers.

Similar birds
Wintering Summer Resident Migration