[order] Charadriiformes | [family] Scolopacidae | [latin] Actitis hypoleucos | [UK] Sandpiper | [FR] Chevalier guignette | [DE] Flußuferläufer | [ES] Andarríos Chico | [IT] Piro-piro piccolo | [NL] Oeverloper

Oeverloper determination

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Small, short legged sandpiper, with pale eye-ring. Greenish brown upperparts, white underparts with dark lateral breast patches. Dark brown streaks and marks on upperparts. In flight, shows dark rump and white wingbar. Female averages slightly larger than male. Non-breeding adult has faintly barred olive brown upperparts. Less streaking on head.

Usually on margins of water bodies, mostly riverbanks, preferably with pebbles, sand or rocks amd patches of dry meadows. Also small ponds, lake shores, sheltered sea coasts. Outside breeding season, in wide variety of habitats, such as coastal shores, estuaries, salt marshes, inland wetlands, riverbanks and tidal creeks in mangroves. Sometimes on grassland, along roadsides in urbanized areas.

Actitis hypoleucos is a widespread breeder across most of Europe, which accounts for less than half of its global breeding range. Its European breeding population is large (>720,000 pairs), and was stable between 1970-1990. Although many European populations, including key ones in Russia and Norway, were stable or increased during 1990-2000, the species suffered widespread declines—most notably in Sweden and Finland—and underwent a moderate decline (>10%) overall. Consequently, this previously Secure species is now provisionally evaluated as Declining.

Diet includes insects, crustaceans, molluscs, spiders and annelids, sometimes tadpoles, frogs and small fish. Occasionally plant material. During breeding season, adults and young chicks frequently feed on grassland. Prey located visually. Feeds mainly by pecking and stabbing, free stalking and dashing, rarely by probing. Run quickly, frequently pausing with tail moving up and down and head bobbing. Insects often caught from surface, or pulled out from rocks or mud, sometimes washes prey before eating it. Mostly forages singly, defending feeding territory, but sometimes in small parties. Mainly diurnal forager.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 10,000,000 km². It has a large global population estimated to be 2,500,000-4,000,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2002). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

Egg laying in May-June. Pairs bond monogamous. High degree of site fidelity and low degree of natal philopatry. Nest is built in sheltered depression, sometimes among shrubs and trees. 4 eggs are laid, incubation 21 days, by both sexes. Chicks are greyish brown, above faintly stippled dusky and with fuscous black mid-line on crown and back, and narrow eyeline. Brood tended by both sexes, but one parent, often female, usually leaves before young fledge. Age of first breeding 1 year.

Migratory. Many move to South to wintering areas, though some stay in North maritime climatic zone (British Is, Mediterranean, Japan). Moves overland on broad fronts, even across deserts and mountains, usually solitary or in small flocks. European population mainly winter in West Africa, and basically moves South West from mid-July to August. Juveniles following one month later. Moves North from late March to April .Many Norwegian birds cross Britain, Swedish birds cross West Germany, Finnish cross East Germany. Wintering populations in East, Central and South Africa presumably originate in former USSR. East Asian birds move through Korea, Japan (especially during migration), Hong Kong (both migrations), peninsular Malaysia, Wallacea and New Guinea. Many immatures remain in Northern wintering quarters all year. Migrates at night.