COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Common Sandpiper has a brown head and back, and brown wings. The breast is brown and the under parts are white. The bill is brown and the legs are yellow.  This bird is approximately about 8 inches (20 cm) long.
NAME: The English name ‘Sandpiper’ stems from ‘sand’, and Latin ‘pipa’, which means to ‘chirp’. The Latin genus name Actitis is from Greek and means a ‘dweller on the sea coast’ (Choate). As for the Latin species name means ‘beneath’ and ‘white’.
HABITAT: Shorelines with shallow water.
DIET: Small invertebrates.
NESTING: The nest is built on the ground near water. Around four beige eggs are laid, which are incubated by both parents. These also both care for the chicks.
DISTRIBUTION: This sandpiper is an Old World species, and breeds in Europe and Asia.  It migrates to Africa, southeast Asia and Australia for the winter. Some vagrants have been able to reach Hawaii. (See note below for information on bird vagrancy.)
CONSERVATION: The population of this sandpiper is widespread and the species is not considered at risk.
Vagrancy: In biology this means an animal going way outside its normal range. For birds, this can happen when there are storms and they get blown off course. On other times, the bird simply wanders in a different direction than usual. Here’s an article about vagrancy in birds.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Spotted Sandpiper (closely related)

Common sandpiper, Onda River, Naruse, Machida, Japan - March 2013, © Denise Motard
Common sandpiper, Onda River, Japan