The common sandpiper is a small Palearctic wader. This bird and its American sister species, the spotted sandpiper, 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. 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. 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. It is classified as least concern by IUCN.
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. It is a migratory species, with majority of birds wintering in Africa, and India with fewer migrating to Southeast Asia and Australia. They prefer to winter on fresh water wetlands such as swamps and lakes and are usually seen singly or in small groups. These birds forage by probing in shallow water or on wet mud. They mainly eat insects, and similar small prey. They feed by wading briskly in shallow water, pecking from the surface or sometimes sweeping the bill from side to side. They may wade deeper and feel for prey. They also follow the other aquatic birds, and take the preys disturbed by their movements. This is an interesting individual with one leg in winter non breeding plummage and the other leg still showing the breeding plummage (Yellow). It is classified as least concern by IUCN.
The Terek sandpiper is a small migratory Palearctic wader species, 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. This bird breeds near water in the taiga from Finland through northern Siberia to the Kolyma River, and migrate south in winter to tropical coasts in east Africa, south Asia and Australia, usually preferring muddy areas. Its long upcurved bill – somewhat reminiscent of an avocet’s, but not as strongly curved – makes it very distinctive. As the scientific specific name implies, this wader has a grey back, face and breast in all plumages; a white supercilium may appear more or less distinct. The belly is whitish and the feet yellow; the bill has a yellowish base, with the rest being black. It feeds in a distinctive and very active way, chasing insects and other mobile prey, and sometimes then running to the water’s edge to wash its catch. This species is classified as least concern by IUCN.
The curlew sandpiper is a small wader that breeds on the tundra of Arctic Siberia. The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-coloured waterside birds. These birds are small waders, having a longer down-curved bill, longer neck and legs and a white rump. The breeding adult has patterned dark grey upperparts and brick-red underparts. In winter, this bird is pale grey above and white below, and shows an obvious white supercilium. Juveniles have a grey and brown back, a white belly and a peach-coloured breast. Of all shorebird species, the curlew sandpiper has the smallest breeding range in relation to its non-breeding range. After breeding these birds migrate south to Africa, Australasia or India. South Africa is at the southern limit of the migration path from Siberia, 15,000 km (9,300 mi) or 130° of latitude away. This wader is highly gregarious, and will form flocks with other calidrid waders, particularly dunlin. Despite its easterly breeding range, this species is regular on passage in western Europe, presumably because of the southwesterly migration route. This species is classified as Near Threatened by IUCN.