Family Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Least Concern

Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)


French: Chevalier aboyeur German: Grünschenkel Spanish: Archibebe claro

Scolopax nebularia


, 1767,

district of Trondheim, Norway


Possible race glottoides proposed for E populations, on grounds of larger size and details of non-breeding plumage, but differences considered trivial. Monotypic.


N Scotland and Scandinavia E through C Asia to E Siberia and Kamchatka. Winters from W Europe through Mediterranean to Africa, Madagascar, and E through Middle East to S Asia, Indonesia and Australasia.

Descriptive notes

30–35 cm; 125–300 g; wingspan 68–70 cm. Largest Tringa (10–15% larger than T. totanus) with long, robust, slightly uptilted bill and... read more


Song comprises sustained, richly modulated and quickly given “too-hoo-too-hoo” series, with the... read more


Taiga zone, in forest clearings, woody moorland or open bogs and marshes, including blanket bog;... read more

Food and feeding

Chiefly insects and their larvae, especially beetles, but also crustaceans, annelids, molluscs, amphibians and small fish; reported also... read more


Lays late Apr to mid Jun in NW Europe. Usually monogamous (occasionally pair-bond survives more than one season), though some males... read more


Mostly migratory, though some populations move only short distances, with for example small (but... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). In Europe and W Africa probably several 100,000s of birds, although only 25,000 actually counted in coastal Europe and W Africa (of... read more

Recommended citation

Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 22 February 2020).