Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)

Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)

The Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) is a wading bird belonging to the family Scolopacidae. It is found in wetlands and marshes throughout much of Europe and Asia, as well as parts of Australia and New Zealand. The Common Greenshank feeds on a variety of small aquatic animals, including fish, crustaceans, and insects.

Physical Characteristics:

The Common Greenshank measures around 29-32 centimeters (11-12 inches) in length, with a wingspan of approximately 65-70 centimeters (26-28 inches). It has a distinctive grayish-brown plumage, with a long, thin bill that curves slightly downward. The bird has long, bright green legs and a white rump that is visible in flight. The male and female share similar coloration and markings, with little sexual dimorphism.


The Common Greenshank primarily feeds on small aquatic animals, such as fish, crustaceans, and insects, which it catches by wading through shallow water or probing the mud with its bill. The bird often hunts in groups, working together to flush out prey from the water.

Reproduction and Lifecycle:

The breeding season for the Common Greenshank typically occurs between May and July, depending on the location. These birds are monogamous and form pair bonds that can last for several breeding seasons. They build a nest on the ground or in a shallow depression, often lining it with grass, leaves, and other plant materials.

The female lays 3 to 5 olive-brown eggs, which are incubated by both parents for around 22-25 days. After hatching, the chicks are fed and cared for by both parents until they fledge, or leave the nest, at about 28-32 days old. The young birds become fully independent within a few weeks of fledging.

Conservation Status:

The Common Greenshank is currently listed as a species of “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to its wide distribution and stable population. However, the species could face potential threats from habitat loss due to coastal development and other human activities. Conservation efforts focus on habitat preservation and monitoring populations to ensure their long-term survival.

Updated: 20 April 2023 — 15:18

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