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

Spotted Redshank

Tringa erythropus

  • Family: Sandpipers – Scolopacidae
  • Appearance: A member of the sandpiper family of waders. Slightly larger, slimmer and longer-legged than Redshank. No wing bars. Long cigar-shaped white patch on back between wings, extending to rump. Mature birds almost black; younger birds resemble pale Redshanks.
  • Size: Length 29–33 cm, wingspan 59–66 cm, weight 125–160 g.
  • Nest: In a depression in open pinewoods or cleared forest. Made of lichen, dry leaves, grass, pieces of bark etc.
  • Breeding: Lays 4 eggs in May. Experts believe that only males incubate, for 23–24 days. Fledglings soon leave nest to forage for themselves, and learn to fly within 23–35 days.
  • Distribution: Breeds in dry heathland forests in Northern Finland and Lapland. Finnish breeding population estimated at 10,000–25,000 pairs.
  • Migration: Nocturnal. Adult birds fly south between early June and August; young birds migrate between August and October. Return migration in May (with all birds flying in to Finland over a short, precisely timed period). Winters in West Africa and around the Mediterranean.
  • Diet: Invertebrates. Often feeds while wading in deeper water like other sandpipers, and may even swim.
  • Calls: a piercing “tuit”.
  • Endangerment: Near threatened, protected in Finland. Globally Least concern.

Spotted Redshanks are slender long-legged waders, slightly larger than Redshanks. In the summer their plumage is a sooty black with spots on their upper parts. Lacks the wing bars prominent on Redshanks, but has an elongated bright white cigar-shaped patch stretching from rump to upper back. In flight legs trail well behind end of tail. Young birds similar to Redshank but lack broad white trailing edge to wings and look generally paler and more greyish. Legs dark red (older birds) or orange-red (younger birds). Beak dark brown with reddish base to lower mandible. Iris brown.

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

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