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© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki, M. & W. von Wright: Svenska fåglar (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland). Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.

Green Sandpiper

Tringa ochropus

  • Family: Sandpipers – Scolopacidae
  • Appearance: A medium-sized sandpiper, similar to Wood Sandpiper, but is stockier and has shorter legs. Wings dark above and below, rump white, tail white with broad black lateral stripes. Eye-stripe indistinct.
  • Size: Length 20–24 cm, wingspan 39–44 cm, weight 75–85 g.
  • Nest: In an old thrush’s nest or squirrel drey.
  • Breeding: Lays 4 eggs in May. Both parents incubate, for 20–23 days. Young able to fly within about 4 weeks. Fledglings leave nest and learn to find food for themselves very rapidly.
  • Distribution: Breeds in forest near marshes and ponds as far north as Central Lapland, but becomes rarer progressively further north. Finnish breeding population estimated at 130,000–170,000 pairs. Lone individuals often encountered during migration.
  • Migration: Nocturnal. Leaves Finland July–August, returning between early April and mid May. Winters around the Mediterranean and in Africa.
  • Diet: Invertebrates, shoots and buds.
  • Calls: A clear, ringing “pluit-wit-wit”.

Green Sandpipers resemble Wood Sandpipers, but are slightly larger and stockier, with darker and less spotted backs, and more uniformly white flanks. Their wings are also wider than those of Wood Sandpipers and have darker undersides. In flight their white rumps contrast strikingly with their otherwise darker upperparts, making them look like a large House Martin. They have grey legs, black beaks with a reddish base, and dark brown irises.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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