Family Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Least Concern

Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus)


French: Chevalier bargette German: Terekwasserläufer Spanish: Andarríos del Terek

Scolopax cinerea


, 1775,

Terek River, Caspian Sea


In the past was occasionally split into two subspecies, with recognition of australis (based on differences noted in winter quarters), but variation poorly understood. Monotypic.


S Finland; NW Russia and Ukraine E through C Siberia to Anadyrland, mainly in boreal taiga zone, extending N into subarctic tundra and S to steppe fringes. Winters from SW, S & E Africa through Middle East, S Asia and Indonesia to Australia.

Descriptive notes

22–25 cm; 50–126 g; wingspan 57–59 cm. Distinctive, rather small sand­piper with long upcurved bill and short orange to greenish-yellow legs; bobs rear... read more


Considered to be very vocal at all times of year. Song is a rich melodious series of variable... read more


Breeds in lowland valleys, especially on floodplains with alternation of tall grasses and scrub... read more

Food and feeding

On breeding grounds, diet consists mainly of adult and larval midges, as well as seeds. Elsewhere, variety of insects, small molluscs,... read more


Breeds mid/late May–Jul. Semi-colonial, but often nests solitarily in Europe. Monogamous. Nest a shallow depression (100–120 mm... read more


Migratory. Moves S from late Jul to Oct (adults first, juveniles up to one month later), N in late... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). In Africa and SW Asia minimum 44,000 wintering birds (1991); in SC Asia probably c. 25,000 birds; in E & SE Asia in order of 100,... read more

Recommended citation

Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus). 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 9 April 2020).