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

Redshank

Tringa totanus

  • Name also: Common Redshank
  • Family: Sandpipers – Scolopacidae
  • Appearance: A medium-sized wader. Beak shorter than beak of Spotted Redshank. Extensive white colouring on trailing edge of wings. Tail white with narrow, crosswise black stripes. White rump extends to wedge-like patch on lower back.
  • Size: Length 24–27 cm, wingspan 47–53 cm, weight 92–127 g.
  • Nest: Shallow depression in grassy area, made of dry grass, with living grass stems forming a protective roof over the nest.
  • Breeding: 4 eggs laid in May, incubated by both parents for 22–26 days. Fledglings learn to fly within about 27–35 days.
  • Distribution: Breeds in moist meadows inland (only in a few localities) and in coastal areas. Finnish breeding population estimated at 5,000–6,000 pairs.
  • Migration: Mainly by night. Leaves Finland July–August, returning April–June. Winters in Western Europe, Mediterranean countries and Africa. On migration may be seen resting alone or in small groups along low-lying shores.
  • Diet: Invertebrates.
  • Calls: In flight a shrill “tiiuu-huu”. Calls frequently and vociferously during breeding season.
  • Endangerment: Vulnerable, protected in Finland. Globally Least concern.

Redshanks are medium-sized waders with uniformly dark speckling over both their brown upper parts and their paler underparts. Their necks and flanks are brownish but their bellies are whiter. Their beaks are fairly long and straight. Their most distinctive feature is the broad white patches on the trailing edges of their wings. Like the Greenshank and Spotted Redshank, they have a large wedge-shaped white patch extending up the back from the rump. Redshanks’ legs are red (mature birds) or yellow (juveniles) and their beaks are red with a black tip (adults) or red with a yellow base (juveniles). Their irises are brown.

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

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