Actitis is a small genus of waders, comprising just two very similar bird species, the Common Sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos, of Eurasia and the Spotted Sandpiper, Actitis macularia of North America.
These are both small migratory waders, greyish brown on top and white underneath, with a distinctive stiff-winged flight low over the water. The plumages are very similar, apart from Spotted Sandpipers' distinctive breeding plumage, and suspected out-of-range vagrants must be carefully observed for identification to species.
Both species have short yellow or yellowish legs and a medium bill. These are not gregarious birds and are seldom seen in large flocks.
They nest on the ground, and their habitat is near fresh water. These birds forage on the ground or in water, picking up food by sight. They may also catch insects in flight. They eat insects, crustaceans and other invertebrates.