Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus)

Spotted Redshank

[order] CHARADRIIFORMES | [family] Scolopacidae | [latin] Tringa erythropus | [UK] Spotted Redshank | [FR] Chevalier arlequin | [DE] Dunkler Wasserlaufer | [ES] Archibebe oscuro | [NL] Zwarte Ruiter


Monotypic species

Physical charateristics

Big and elegant wader, with long neck, legs and bill. Entirely black, with white dots on upperparts, and often variable amounts of whitish on underparts, in flight shows white wedge on back and white underwing.
Female slightly larger and generally paler, with white tips on crown feathers and more white fringes on underparts. Non-breeding adult has contrasting dark eye stripe and white supercilium, ash grey upperparts with white fringes, plain grey breast and white underparts.
Rather similar to T. totanus, but has longer darker red legs. Longer, finer bill, lower mandible basally red. White above lores.
Juvenile darker than non-breeding adult.

Listen to the sound of Spotted Redshank

[audio: Redshank.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 48 cm wingspan max.: 52 cm
size min.: 29 cm size max.: 32 cm
incubation min.: 23 days incubation max.: 24 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 24 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 4  


Eurasia : North


Open wooded tundra, swampy pine or birch forest near tree-line, and also more open areas such as heathland and shrub tundra.
After breeding, occurs in variety of freshwater or brackish wetlands, including sewage farms, irrigated rice fields, brackish lagoons, salt-marshes, salt-pans and sheltered muddy shores along coast


Egg laying from April to May. pair bond is monogamous, apparently sometimes polyandrous.Nest is usually built in grass tussocks or moss, sparsely lined with plant material. 4 eggs are laid, incubation period unknown.
Chick pale drab grey finely marked with fuscous black above, dark cap and dirty white on chin and belly. Most females leave before eggs hatch.

Feeding habits

Mainly aquatic insects, terrestrial flying insects, small crustaceans, molluscs, worms, fish and amphibians.
When feeding on fish, may forage socially in dense flock of conspecifics or mixed with other tringines, moving erratically while pecking at prey or running synchronously in one direction, while each bird sweeps bill through water.
Often found in water, and occasionally swims while feeding in deep water, may immerse head and neck completely. Pecks, probes, jabs or sweeps bill through water from side to side. Mostly in small flocks, sometimes singly. Diurnal and nocturnal feeder.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Spotted Redshank status Least Concern


Migratory. Overall winter range extends from western Europe and West Africa to Vietnam and south-east China; reached by broad-front overland movements, though important passage concentrations also occur along western seaboard. European migration characterized by long, continuous flights between staging areas, so that over large regions seen only in low numbers which do not reflect true scale of movement.
Adult females form flocks and leave breeding grounds while males incubating (about 10 June in Finland) and reach Denmark and Waddenzee by mid-June. males and juveniles follow in second half July and August. Early birds reach West Africa August-September, but main arrivals in October. Senegal wintering areas vacated in March; return movement through Europe in April and May. First birds consistently reach Finland about 4 May (

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *