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Wood Sandpiper

From Opus

Photo by Peter DuymelincLuxor, Egypt, January 2005
Photo by Peter Duymelinc
Luxor, Egypt, January 2005
Tringa glareola


[edit] Identification

19–23 cm (7½-9 in)
The Wood Sandpiper is a fairly small wader with a rather attenuated 'necky' appearance. It has brown upperparts and generally white underparts. The most striking plumage feature are the bold white supercilia, which show well behind the eye. The supercilia are defined by a dark brown 'cap' and a bold broad eye-stripe. It is quite a 'leggy' bird, not unlike a Common Redshank, though smaller. The legs are usually pale yellowish, but can appear quite dark when the bird is feeding in mud, or in dull light. The bill is about the same length as the head and straight. The head shape is almost squarish in profile, and the neck can be extended or retracted a certain amount, changing the overall appearance. The rump has a square white patch between the dark tip of the tail and the back.

Immature. Photo by aloktewariDelhi, India, July 2016
Immature. Photo by aloktewari
Delhi, India, July 2016

[edit] Similar Species

The plumage is not unlike the American Lesser Yellowlegs, though the supercilia are bolder. However, the Lesser Yellowlegs is even more 'leggy' and can remind one of a stilt.

[edit] Distribution

Breeds in northern Europe and northern Asia; winters in southern Africa, southern Asia and Australia.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1].

[edit] Habitat


[edit] Behaviour

Photo by AkihakaSalo, Finland, May 2008Click on photo to enlarge
Photo by Akihaka
Salo, Finland, May 2008
Click on photo to enlarge

Wood sandpiper tends to be a rather active bird, often found on the margins of quite small pools, or wading hurriedly through the shallows. It often teeters in the manner of a Common Sandpiper, though perhaps not quite so frequently. As it advances it pecks briefly to one side or the other, picking up tiny particles of food from the surface of the mud.

[edit] Diet

The diet includes insects, worms, spiders, shellfish and small fish.

[edit] Breeding

The 4 eggs are are incubated for 22-23 days by the female. The young fledge after 29-31 days.

[edit] Vocalisation

Listen in an external program

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from
  2. RSPB
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved May 2014)
  4. Wikipedia
  5. BTO Bird Facts

[edit] External Links


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