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(Redirected from Xenus cinereus)
Adult, fresh summer plumage
Photo by Ayuwat J
Beppu, Oita, Japan, May 2010
Xenus cinereus


Length 22–25 cm (8¾-9¾ in), wingspan 57–59 cm, weight 50–126 g

Adult, worn summer plumage
Photo by AJDH
Saudi Arabia, July 2006
  • Very long, slightly upcurved bill, black with a brownish-yellow base
  • Upperparts and breast buffy grey to silvery grey
  • Dark carpal patch
  • Mainly white underparts
  • Legs 'dayglo' orange-yellow, shorter than most Tringa 'shanks'.
  • Breeding adult: broad black scapular stripes and black streaks on coverts; white supercilium
  • Winter adult: paler and greyer; scapular line inconspicuous
  • Juvenile: duller, sandy brown; scapular line inconspicuous
  • In flight shows white trailing edge on secondaries and inner primaries (as in Common Redshank but less broad)


Breeds in far eastern Europe (locally in Finland, and from Belarus and Ukraine eastward) and across northern Asia. Winters on tropical coasts in east Africa, south Asia and Australia.

Rare, but regular visitor to the British Isles, mostly on passage but one or two wintering records.


Winter plumage
Photo by Alok Tewari
Jamnagar, Coastal Gujarat, India, January-2016

This is a monotypic species[1].

Formerly often included in the genus Tringa, but genetic evidence shows it to be more closely related to Phalaropes Phalaropus[2].


Breeds beside muddy or gravelly riversides and lakeshores; typically nesting among greyed driftwood on riverbanks. On migration on freshwater marshes. In winter, coastal mudflats, estuaries and mangroves.



Food is small aquatic invertebrates; it chases insects and other mobile prey, and sometimes runs to the water's edge to wash its catch.


They lay 3-4 eggs in a lined ground scrape.


In flight
Photo by Karim Madoya
Lokawi, September 2006


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gibson, R., & Baker, A. (2012). Multiple gene sequences resolve phylogenetic relationships in the shorebird suborder Scolopaci (Aves: Charadriiformes). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 64 (1): 66-72 (abstract).
  3. BF Member observations
  4. Collins Field Guide 5th Edition
  5. Collins Bird Guide ISBN 0 00 219728 6

Recommended Citation

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