Sand Martin

This species is defined as a Review Species . Please submit your records of this species via our record submission page .

Scientific Name: Riparia riparia

Malay Name: Layang-layang Perang Belang Biasa

Chinese Name: 崖沙燕

Alternative Name(s): Common Sand Martin

Range: 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

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

Local Subspecies: ijimae

Size: 11.5-13 cm

Identification: 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: Barn Swallow, Asian House Martin

Habitat: Lakes, rivers, reservoirs and coastal areas.


Local Status: Rare migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2019)

Past records in our database:

Showing only accepted records. Note that records currently under review are also not displayed, and the list may not be a full list of records of this species in Singapore. For more details, check the database here.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

Sand Martin Riparia riparia
Average number of individuals by week based on Singapore Bird Database data, Jul 2016 to Jun 2023 (all records)
Peak week Dec 24-Dec 30
Early date 20 Sep 1987
Late date 11 May 2021
Recorded sporadically throughout the raptor migration period and in the winter months.


BirdLife International. (2019). Riparia riparia. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Jeyarajasingam, A., & Pearson, A. (2012). A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Oxford University Press.

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

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