Family Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Near Threatened

Grey-tailed Tattler (Tringa brevipes)


French: Chevalier de Sibérie German: Grauschwanz-Wasserläufer Spanish: Playero siberiano
Other common names: Siberian Tattler

Totanus brevipes


, 1816,



Closely related to T. incana, with which formerly considered conspecific; both were previously placed in genus Heteroscelus, but molecular study indicates that they belong in Tringa#R. Monotypic.


NC & NE Siberia in Putorana Mts, and from Verkhoyansk Mts and Transbaikalia E to Anadyrland and Kamchatka and probably also N Kuril Is. Winters from Taiwan, Malay Peninsula and Philippines S through Indonesia, New Guinea and Solomon Is to Australia, a few reaching New Zealand; also Fiji and Tuvalu.

Descriptive notes

23–27 cm; 80–162 g; wingspan 60–65 cm. Short yellow legs and darkish grey upperparts. Very similar to T. incana, but slightly paler and shorter-... read more


Highly distinctive compared to similar T. incana. A loud, rich whistle of two notes and up... read more


Breeds in N montane taiga and forest tundra, along rivers and streams, and on stone or pebble... read more

Food and feeding

Diet on breeding grounds includes insects, e.g. beetles, mosquitoes, springtails and aquatic larvae of flies, sometimes caught in flight.... read more


Breeds late May–late Aug, arriving when breeding areas are still snow- and ice-covered. Display reportedly very like that of T.... read more


Migratory. Migration mainly coastal, but sometimes on inland wetlands, even rivers. On passage,... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Total population 25,000–100,000 birds in 1987–1991 (of which 11,000 wintered in N Western... read more

Recommended citation

Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Grey-tailed Tattler (Tringa brevipes). 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 24 January 2020).