Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)

Wood Sandpiper

[order] CHARADRIIFORMES | [family] Scolopacidae | [latin] Tringa glareola | [UK] Wood Sandpiper | [FR] Chevalier sylvain | [DE] Bruch-Wasserlaufer | [ES] Andarrios Bastardo | [NL] Bosruiter


Monotypic species

Physical charateristics

Head,neck and breast finely streaked grey brown. Supercilium and throat white. Upperparts black brown with white spots, underparts white.
Very similar to T. ochropus, but paler, less bulky and longer-legged. Underwing much paler.
Has longer neck and legs than more uniform T. hypoleucos.
Female averages slightly larger. Non-breeding adult has browner and less spotted upperparts, breast washed grey and less streaked.

Listen to the sound of Wood Sandpiper

[audio:http://www.aviflevoland.nl/sounddb/W/Wood Sandpiper.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 50 cm wingspan max.: 56 cm
size min.: 19 cm size max.: 21 cm
incubation min.: 22 days incubation max.: 23 days
fledging min.: 28 days fledging max.: 23 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 4  


Eurasia : widespread


Open swampy areas in boreal forest, especially scrubland between tundra and coniferous forest, peatlands, marshlands with deciduous bushes, and wet heathlands with scattered conifers.
Outside breeding season, found in more open areas including open margins of inland fresh waters, muddy marsshes, grassy stream banks, sewage farms, wet paddyfields, tiny temporary pools and streams.


Egg laying from May to June. Pairs bond Monogamous. Nest is a scrape lined with moss, stems and leaves, on ground among dense cover. Frequently in trees, in old nests of other species. 4 eggs are laid in a single brood, incubation 23 days, by both sexes. Chick pale buff to pale cream marked fuscous black and mottled greyish brown to cinnamon on upper back, with wide dark cap and white belly. Care of young only by male. Age of first breeding 1 year.

Feeding habits

Diet includes chiefly aquatic insects, beetles, worms, spiders, crustaceans, molluscs, small fish, sometimes plant matter.
Probes, pecks or sweeps bill through water, also able to catch flying insects from air. Feeds in shallow water or on mud. Often feeds singly, but also in pairs or scattered groups.


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 extremely 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.
Wood Sandpiper status Least Concern


Migratory, wintering mainly in tropical and subtropical latitudes in Africa, across southern Asia to southern China, Philippines, and Indonesia, and in Australia. In west Palearctic, small numbers winter on Atlantic coast of Morocco, and a very few around Mediterranean and in Iraq.
Adult movements away from European breeding areas begin late June, with juveniles following a month later. In tropical Africa, adults arrive August (a few in late July), juveniles in September, numbers increasing into October. Spring departures from winter quarters begin late March to early April, though some non-breeders summer there. Movement through Europe and Middle East April-May, with briefer pauses and no large concentrations. Breeding grounds reoccupied late April to late May, or in early June in northern Russia.

Distribution map

Wood Sandpiper distribution range map

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