Sand Martin

Scientific Name: Riparia riparia
Malay Name: Layang-layang Perang Belang Biasa
Chinese Name: 崖沙燕
Alternative Name(s): Common Sand Martin

Found throughout the Holarctic (which encompasses majority of habitats found throughout the northern continents of the world) and winters to South America, sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian subcontinent, southern China and Southeast Asia

Polytypic. Subspecies are: riparia, taczanowskii, ijimae, shelleyi.

Local Subspecies: ijimae

Size: 11.5-13 cm

Adult resembles Barn Swallow and Asian House Martin but has all brown upperparts, contrasting whitish underparts with broad brown breast-band and shallow forked tail. Juvenile resembles adult but has less distinct breast-band.

Similar looking species: Asian House Martin, Barn Swallow

Habitat: Lakes, rivers, reservoirs and coastal areas.


Local Status: Rare migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2019)

Location: Recent sightings were at Seletar Mudflat, Lorong Halus (Sungei Serangoon), Central Catchment Forest (MacRitchie Reservoir) and Neo Tiew.


External Links:
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List Page
Photos: Oriental Bird Images
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link

BirdLife International. (2019). Riparia riparia. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019. Downloaded on 2 September 2021
Jeyarajasingam, A., & Pearson, A. (2012). A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Oxford University Press.
Robson, C. (2008). A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia. New Holland Publishers.