Family Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Least Concern

Common Redshank (Tringa totanus)


French: Chevalier gambette German: Rotschenkel Spanish: Archibebe común

Scolopax Totanus


, 1758,



W populations (British Is and Netherlands, possibly also S Scandinavia) sometimes separated as race britannica#R#R; latter name replaced bewickii, which was based on specimen of Calidris pugnax#R. Proposed race meinertzhageni is synonymized with eurhina. Birds breeding in N Italy considered to be intermediate between nominate and ussuriensis#R. Six subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. t. robusta (Schiøler, 1919) – Iceland, Faeroes and possibly Scotland; winters in British Is and W Europe.
  • T. t. totanus (Linnaeus, 1758) – Orkney, Shetland and N Scandinavia S to Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Tunisia and Turkey, and E to W Siberia; winters from Mediterranean to tropical Africa, India and probably Indonesia.
  • T. t. ussuriensis Buturlin, 1934 – S Siberia and Mongolia E to NE China (N Heilongjiang) and Russian Far East; winters from E Mediterranean and E Africa through Red Sea, Persian Gulf and Arabia to S & SE Asia.
  • T. t. terrignotae R. Meinertzhagen & A. C. Meinertzhagen, 1926 – extreme NE China (S Heilongjiang); winters in SE & E Asia.
  • T. t. craggi Hale, 1971 – NW Xinjiang (NW China); wintering grounds uncertain, probably in SE Asia and/or E China.
  • T. t. eurhina (Oberholser, 1900) – Pamirs, N India and C & S Tibet; winters in India and SE Asia.
  • Descriptive notes

    27–29 cm; 85–155 g; wingspan 59–66 cm. Slightly smaller and more compact than T. erythropus and up to 10% smaller than T. nebularia. Ash-... read more


    Noisy, especially in breeding season. Display flight, which may cover more than 1 km is given by... read more


    Wide diversity of coastal and inland wetlands, including coastal saltmarshes, inland wet grasslands... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, spiders and annelids; non-breeders also consume molluscs and crustaceans, particularly amphipod Corophium volutator; on... read more


    Lays Apr–Jun, beginning early Apr around North Sea, mid May in Iceland and late May in N Scandinavia. Monogamous. Moderate degree of... read more


    Chiefly migratory, although some birds in Iceland and W Europe virtually resident and as springs... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Overall, global population estimated at 2,261,000 at start of present century, of which 420,000 nested in Iceland. W Palearctic... read more

    Recommended citation

    Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Common Redshank (Tringa totanus). 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 20 February 2020).