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  ScienceZoologyBirdsOrder Charadriiformes

Tringa nebularia


This is a medium-sized wading bird, averaging about 12 inches in body length. It is distinguished from other waders by its long green legs and slightly up-turned bill.

Distribution and Habitat

The greenshank breeds in Scotland, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. It is most often found on bogs with pools and boulders. It spends its winters on estuaries and small tidal creeks, migrating as far south as Australia and South Africa. Between its breeding and wintering grounds in can be found on just about any wetland habitat, including inland marshes.


The nest is usually built on the ground and commonly consists of a small hollow lined with heather or dry grass. The eggs -- usually four per clutch -- are pale buff or stone color, blotched with purplish-gray and spotted with dark brown. They are incubated for 23 to 26 days, and the chicks fledge at 25 to 31 days of age.


Worms, insects and tiny fish provide the bulk of the greenshank's food.

Scientific Classification

Phylum Chordata
Subphylum Vertebrata
Class Aves
Order Charadriiformes
Family Scolopacidae
Genus & Species Tringa nebularia

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

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This page was last updated on December 29, 2014.

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