Redshank Tringa totanus   [Linnaeus, 1758]

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Order: Charadriiformes Family: Scolopacidae
BTO Codes: RK, REDSH EURING No: 5460
Number in Britain: 24 thousand Pairs (Summer)
Conservation Status:
European: 2 Concern, most in Europe; Declining
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Migrant/Resident Breeder, Passage/Winter Visitor
Subspecies: totanus (RBW), robusta (W) recorded in Britain (of 6 subsp. in the world)
Length: 28 cm Wingspan: 62 cm Weight: M: 110 g   F: 130 g    
Scientific name from: Gr.: trungas=a waterbird mentioned by Aristotle and Italian: totano=the Redshank
World Distribution: BREEDS: Europe, n&c Asia, WINTERS: to s Africa & Indonesia
Habitat: Rivers, wet grassland, moors & estuaries
Diet: Invertebrates, esp earthworms, cranefly larvae (inland) crustaceans, molluscs, marine worms (estuaries)
TitBit: On coastal marshes this is usually the first bird to be disturbed, flying off with a noisy cry - giving rise to the name 'sentinel of the marsh'.  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos BTO ID Workshop

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: BirdTrends   
Regional Trends: England   English Regions
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore   
British Population Size:
    Summer: 24 thousand Pairs in 2009
    Winter: 120 thousand individuals in 2004/05 - 2008/09
    First Record: Recorded in Medieval times [Fossil evidence from Devensian (last) glaciation, 10-120,000 yr ago]
    Latest Survey: Musgrove, A. et al. (2013) British Birds 106:64-100
    Conservation Status: AMBER because Species of European Concern, Recent Breeding Population Decline, Important Non-breeding Population
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 AMBER     1996-2001 AMBER  
   Races of Concern: totanus AMBER (Recent Decline), robusta AMBER (Important Population)
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    Most frequent in: Estuaries
    Also common in: Coastal Habitat
    And found in: Marsh
Relative Frequency in Each Habitat:
Migration routes: Map of foreign ringing recoveries  and summary map from Time to Fly (in pop-up windows)
European Population Size:
    Summer: 250 to 470 thousand pairs   (Trend in Numbers)
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: WBD(II*), Bern(III), Bonn(II), AEWA
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 45 x 31 mm Egg Weight: 22.3 g (of which 5 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 96   (more would be welcome!)
Clutch Size: 4 eggs 3.87 ▒ 0.43 (2 - 5) N = 905
Incubation: 24 days   by the: Male + Female
Fledging: 25 - 35days as: Precocial, downy
First Clutches Laid: 1 May (14 Apr - 7 Jun)
Number of Broods: 1
See trends in Breeding Productivity
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.740 ▒ 0.014       
Juvenile Survival: 0.430 (in First-Year)  
Age at First Breeding: 1 year Typical Lifespan: 4 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 20 years 1 months 15 days (set in 2007)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: D2
Wing Length Adult: 169.8 ▒ 5.2 Range 161 - 178 mm, N =10350
Juvenile: 167.5 ▒ 5.4 158 - 175 mm, N =5879
Male: Insufficient Data
Female: Insufficient Data
Weight Adult: 153.3 ▒ 17.58 Range 126.0 - 184.0 g , N =9959
Juvenile: 142.1 ▒ 14.32 120.0 - 166.0 g , N =5503
Male: Insufficient Data
Female: Insufficient Data
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Common Redshank
Gaelic: Maor-cladaich Welsh: Pibydd Coesgoch
Danish: R°dben Dutch: Tureluur
Finnish: Punajalkaviklo French: Chevalier gambette
German: Rotschenkel Hungarian: Piroslßb˙ cankˇ
Icelandic: Stelkur Irish: Cosdeargßn
Italian: Pettegola Norwegian: R°dstilk
Polish: Krwawodziˇb Portuguese: Perna-vermelha-comum
Spanish: Archibebe com˙n Swedish: R÷dbena
Local Names: Watery Pleep, Ebb Cock, Pool Snipe

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Nethersole-Thompson, D. & M. 1986 Waders, their breeding, haunts and watchers Poyser, London [598.6 NET]
   Hale, W.G. 1988 The Redshank Shire Publications, Princes Risborough [Jour: S]
See Also:
Find scientific papers on Google Scholar or Scirus by clicking the icon
Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides