Common Greenshank

Tringa nebularia

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Its name says it all: the common greenshank has long, green-grey legs. Apart from this feature, it is distinguishable by its long, powerful, slightly upwardly-curved bill. Both sexes have the same colouring and dimensions: the back patterned brown grey with a white belly and measuring about 35 cm in height. This wader is distributed widely and is well known to stopover during its long-distance migrations. It stops over on flat bodies of water with extensive shorelines, as well as flooded meadows and arable fields. The greenshank breeds in marshland, on heaths, old coniferous forests, as well as the tundra of Northern Europe and Asia and, in the main, spends the winter in Sub-Saharan Africa but also in the Mediterranean. A number of birds migrate as far as Australia. They subsist on water insects and their larvae, small fish, tadpoles and frogs, crabs and molluscs. It is enjoyable to watch these lively birds hunt: they trot and run back and forth and, furthermore, are accomplished divers and swimmers. The common greenshank breeds once a year between May and July. They build their nests on the ground and insulate them with foraged plant parts. Both sexes will incubate the clutch of 4 eggs. Although the chicks are nigifugous, they are nevertheless raised and tended to by both parents.

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