Common Greenshank: Large sandpiper with scaled gray-brown upperparts, white rump, and white underparts, streaked and spotted with brown on flanks and sides. Yellow-green legs. Bill is slightly upturned. Eats small fish, insects and larvae. Swift direct flight with clipped wing beats.
Range and Habitat
Common Greenshank: Found in Europe and Asia on mudflats, wetlands, bogs, shallow marshes, ponds. Rare visitor to western Aleutians, Pribilof, and St. Lawrence Islands of Alaska; also recorded in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in fall and winter. Nests in taiga and forest areas; winters on a wide range of wetland habitats, both coastal and inland, but prefers estuaries to the open coast.
Some authorities have suggested that they and the Greater Yellowlegs constitute a superspecies.
The Common Greenshank males arrive first at their breeding site and, after establishing a territory, will begin display flights, rising up and down in the air, while singing richly and sometimes tumbling and turning. Females may join in the display.
They stand tall and erect and may bob their heads when alarmed.
A group of sandpipers has many collective nouns, including a "bind", "contradiction", "fling", "hill", and "time-step" of sandpipers.
The Common Greenshank is a wader found throughout northern Scotland, northern Europe and Asia. Northern populations of this species are migratory, and spend the winter months in Africa, south Asia and Australia. They also prefer areas near fresh water bodies. Common Greenshanks breed on dry ground that is near to marshy areas. They nest near the preferred bodies of fresh water and form their nests by scraping them in the sand. This species feeds on small invertebrates and small fish. Due to maintained and increasing numbers in population, the Common Greenshank currently has a conservation rating of Least Concern.