Green sandpiper

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The green sandpiper (Tringa ochropus) belongs to the family of snipes and sandpipers, the Scolopacidae.

The green sandpiper species is distributed in subarctic Eurasia, southern Europe, tropical Africa, Arabian peninsula, Indian subcontinent and southeast Asia. These sandpiper species are fully migratory. These sandpipers are monotypic species.
Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Green Sandpiper Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Appearance, physical description and identification

The green sandpiper (Tringa ochropus) is a medium-sized sandpiper, measuring 20 to 25 cm in length and weighing 50 to 120 grams. The wingspan is 55 to 60 cm.

The head, back and upperparts are grayish brown. The rump is white. The foreneck, breast and upper flanks streaked gray-brown. The underparts are white. The back and wings have varying degree of white spots. There is white supercilium and dark brown lore.

The bill is greenish brown with darker distal end. The irises are dark brown. There is a white eye-ring. The legs are greenish gray. The call of these green sandpiper species is a characteristic three-note, sustained, melodious, whistling sound.
Indian birds - Photo of Green sandpiper - Tringa ochropus
1.Birds of India - Image of Green sandpiper - Tringa ochropus by Charlesjsharp

Birds of India - Image of Green sandpiper - Tringa ochropus
2.Indian birds - Image of Green sandpiper - Tringa ochropus by Dr. Raju Kasambe

Indian birds - Image of Green sandpiper - Tringa ochropus
3.Birds of India - Image of Green sandpiper - Tringa ochropus by

Origin, geographical range and distribution

These green sandpiper species are distributed in subarctic Europe, subarctic Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, northern Mongolia, extreme northwest, southeast and northeast China, tropical Africa, Arabian peninsula, Indian subcontinent and southeast Asia.

The Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) of these green sandpiper species in Kazakhstan is Paradise Valley mountain plateau. The IBA of these species in Brunei is Wasan.

Some of the IBA of these sandpiper species in Russia are Watershed of the Mulym'ya and Bolshoy Tap rivers, Ust'-Ozerninskiye bogs, Russkoye lake, Ozersky pine forest, Kondo-Alymskaya, Kataiginskiye bogs, East slope of the Northern Ural and Forty islands.

Ecosystem and habitat

These green sandpiper species have medium forest dependence. They normally occur in altitudes from 0 to 2,500 meters.

The artificial ecosystems and habitats of these green sandpiper species include cultivated lands, pasturelands, canals, drains, aquaculture ponds, flooded fields and rural gardens.

The natural ecosystems and habitats of these sandpiper species include boreal forests, tropical and subtropical montane forests, flooded grasslands, wetlands, marshes, swamps, freshwater lakes, rivers, streams and creeks.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these green sandpiper species consists mainly of invertebrates. Aquatic and terrestrial insects, insect larvae, annelids, small crustaceans, spiders and fish are their primary food.

These species locate the prey by sight and also by probing the ground with their long bill. They glean the prey from moist surface or probe the wet ground and shallow waters for prey.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these green sandpiper species is from April to June in most of their breeding ranges. These species are monogamous and highly territorial. The sandpiper nesting sites are located high up on trees in montane forests, boreal forests and pine forests.

These green sandpipers nest in the abandoned nests of passerine birds and in natural platforms. The clutch contains 2-4 pale buff colored eggs with dark patches. Both the parents incubate the eggs. The chicks hatch out after 21 days of incubation.

Migration and movement patterns

These green sandpiper species are fully migratory birds. The breeding populations occur across subarctic Europe and Asia, Kyrgyzstan and extreme northwest China. The southward migration to wintering grounds takes place from late-June to October.

These species spend their winter in tropical Africa, Arabian peninsula, Indian subcontinent and southeast Asia. They return to the breeding grounds between February and mid-May (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Green sandpiper - Quick Facts

  • Scientific name: Tringa ochropus
  • Species author: Linnaeus, 1758
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Tringa Ocrophus Linnaeus, 1758
  • Family: Scolopacidae › Charadriiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Green sandpiper, Chinese: 白腰草鹬, French: Chevalier cul-blanc, German: Waldwasserläufer, Spanish: Andarríos grande, Russian: Черныш, Japanese: クサシギ, Indonesian: Trinil Hijau
  • Other names: Green Sandpiper
  • Distribution: subarctic Eurasia, southern Europe, tropical Africa, Arabian peninsula, Indian subcontinent, southeast Asia
  • Diet and feeding habits: insects, insect larvae, worms, crustaceans, molluscs
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the green sandpiper (Tringa ochropus) is estimated to number about 1,200,000 to 3,600,000 individual birds. The overall population trend of the species is considered to be increasing.

In most of its range, this species is reported to be common to uncommon. The generation length is 5.6 years. Its distribution size is about 24,600,000

Habitat alteration and destruction, agricultural expansion, loss of wetlands, human intrusions and disturbance, hunting and susceptibility to avian influenza are the main threats that are endangering the survival of these sandpiper species.

IUCN and CITES status

The green sandpiper (Tringa ochropus) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable, either under the range size criterion, or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the sandpiper species and has listed it as of "Least Concern".

The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the green sandpiper (Tringa ochropus).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Tringa ochropus
Species:T. ochropus
Binomial name:Tringa ochropus
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
The green sandpiper (Tringa ochropus) is closely related to the solitary sandpiper (Tringa solitaria). Formerly green sandpiper was considered conspecific with solitary sandpiper (T. solitaria) of North America.
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1.Image source: (cropped)
Image author: Charlesjsharp | License: CC BY-SA 4.0 as on 4/29/18
2.Image source: (cropped)
Image author: Dr. Raju Kasambe | License: CC BY-SA 4.0 as on 4/29/18
3.Image source: (cropped)
Image author: Francesco Veronesi | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 as on 4/29/18
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