Family Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Least Concern

Wandering Tattler (Tringa incana)


French: Chevalier errant German: Wanderwasserläufer Spanish: Playero de Alaska

Scolopax incana

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Moorea (Eimeo), Society Group, Pacific Ocean


Formerly considered conspecific with T. brevipes (which see). Monotypic.


Extreme NE Siberia and Alaska E to Yukon R and NW British Columbia. Winters in SW USA, mainly S from California, and W Mexico to Galapagos Is and Peru; also Hawaiian Is, and islands of C & S Pacific to E New Guinea and NE Australia.

Descriptive notes

26–29 cm; 60–169 g; wingspan 54–66 cm. Short yellow legs and dark grey upperparts. Very similar to T. brevipes, but slightly darker upperparts and... read more


Loud piping calls heard on breeding grounds, including a medium-loud “kree-kree-kree” or a much... read more


Similar to that of T. brevipes, but variety of wintering habitat narrower. Breeding... read more

Food and feeding

Breeding season diet mainly aquatic insects and their larvae, e.g. of stoneflies (Plecoptera), caddisflies (Trichoptera), earwigs (... read more


Present in breeding areas from early May to Aug, with incubation starting around late May/early Jun, with peak hatching probably in late... read more


Migratory. Passage oceanic towards Hawaiian Is, but many birds move along outer coast and islands... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Total population estimated at maximum of 25,000 birds, but perhaps as few as 5000 individuals, with at least 90% of population... read more

Recommended citation

Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Wandering Tattler (Tringa incana). 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 25 February 2020).