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Wood Sandpiper, young

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

Wood Sandpiper

Tringa glareola

  • Family: Sandpipers – Scolopacidae
  • Appearance: More slender and longer-legged than similar Green Sandpiper. Wings dark above with greyish undersides. Rump white, tail white with narrow dark bands. Conspicuous eyebrow stripe.
  • Size: Length 18.5–21 cm, wingspan 35–39 cm, weight 50–70 g.
  • Nest: Well concealed in a depression among marshy hummocks, lined with dry leaves and straw.
  • Breeding: 4 eggs laid in May, incubated by both parents for 23 days. Fledglings leave the nest after hatching and can soon find food for themselves. They learn to fly within 28–30 days.
  • Distribution: Nests in bogs and wetlands. More common in northern regions. On migration forms large flocks, sometimes of hundreds of birds. Finnish population estimated at 340,000–550,000 pairs.
  • Migration: Nocturnal. Autumn migration begins from mid June and lasts until September. Spring migration in May. Winters in West Africa.
  • Diet: Invertebrates
  • Calls: A soft, urgent “chiff-chiff-chiff”. Mating call a lilting “liro-liro-liro…”
  • Endangerment: Near threatened, protected in Finland. Globally Least concern.

Wood Sandpipers are slightly larger than Common Sandpipers and have longer legs. Their dark upperparts are marked with many white speckles (making them appear paler than the similar Green Sandpiper). Mature birds have streaked breasts and white bellies. They have white rumps and white tails with narrow dark bands. Juveniles resemble adults, but the edges of the feathers on their upper parts are rusty yellow in colouring.

Wood Sandpipers’ legs are pale green (mature birds) or yellowish brown (juveniles). Their bills are dark brown with a greenish base (mature birds) or greenish brown (juveniles). Their irises are dark brown.

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

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