Common Sandpiper

Actitis hypoleucos

This is one of the more regular Asian shorebird species that occurs in the Pribilof Islands. Common Sandpipers have been found in 10 of the last 12 seasons, almost exclusively during the last two weeks of May and the first week of June. Actitus shorebirds are quite distinctive, as they continually bob their tails while patrolling sandy or rocky shores. The North American representative of the genus (Spotted Sandpiper) has also been found (once) in the Pribilofs. During the summer Spotted Sandpipers should have spots in the throat, breast, and belly (these areas are white on Common Sandpiper). However, juveniles in fall or an adult bird not in alternate plumage could cause considerable confusion. Look for Common Sandpipers longer tail, extending well beyond the tertials, and more extensive dark upper breast. For juvenile birds look carefully at the tertials, which should be barred in Common and clean brown in Spotted Sandpiper. Good places to search for this species include Antone Slough, the shoreline of Antone Lake and the north end of the Salt Lagoon.