Greenshank Tringa nebularia   [Gunnerus, 1767]

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Order: Charadriiformes Family: Scolopacidae
BTO Codes: GK, GRESH EURING No: 5480
Number in Britain: 1100 Pairs (Summer)
Conservation Status:
European: Not a species of concern
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Migrant/Resident Breeder, Passage/Winter Visitor
Subspecies: Monotypic
Length: 32 cm Wingspan: 69 cm Weight: M/F: 190 g    
Scientific name from: Gr.: trungas=a waterbird mentioned by Aristotle and L.: nebula=a mist +-arius=possessing
World Distribution: BREEDS: n Eurasia, WINTERS: s Europe, s Asia, Africa & Australia
Habitat: Marsh, wet grassland, moor, on migration mudflats
Diet: Invertebrates and small fish located by sight
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: No population trend available
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore   
British Population Size:
    Summer: 1100 Pairs in 1995
    Winter: 610 individuals in 2004/05 - 2008/09
    Passage: 1400 individuals
    First Record: 1678 [Fossil evidence from Devensian (last) glaciation, 10-120,000 yr ago]
    Latest Survey: Hancock, M.H. et al. (1997) Bird Study 290-302
    Conservation Status: GREEN
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 GREEN     1996-2001 AMBER  
   Races of Concern:
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    No habitat data from BBS
Migration routes: Map of foreign ringing recoveries  and summary map from Time to Fly (in pop-up windows)
European Population Size:
    Summer: 61 to 95 thousand pairs
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: WCA(I), WBD(II*), Bern(III), Bonn(II), AEWA
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack
Results from Greenshank: the Migration Story

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 51 x 35 mm Egg Weight: 30.5 g (of which 5 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 1
Clutch Size: 3 - 4 eggs 3.86 ± 0.35 (3 - 4) N = 22
Incubation: 25- 27 days 25.05 ± 0.91 (24.5 - 26.5) N = 22   by the: Female (occ. Male)
Fledging: 29 - 29days 28.58 ± 0.38 (28 - 29) N = 32 as: Precocial, downy
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Nest Record Scheme data
First Clutches Laid: Unavailable
Number of Broods: 1
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: No data
Juvenile Survival: No data
Age at First Breeding: 2 years Typical Lifespan: No data
Maximum Recorded Age: 16 years 0 months 3 days (set in 2001)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: D2
Wing Length Adult: 192.6 ± 5.8 Range 183 - 202 mm, N =83
Juvenile: 191.3 ± 5.0 183 - 200 mm, N =139
Male: Insufficient Data
Female: Insufficient Data
Weight Adult: 199.3 ± 27.93 Range 150.0 - 241.0 g , N =76
Juvenile: 180.1 ± 33.22 132.5 - 245.5 g , N =120
Male: Insufficient Data
Female: Insufficient Data
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Common Greenshank
Gaelic: Deoch-bhiugh Welsh: Pibydd Coeswerdd
Danish: Hvidklire Dutch: Groenpootruiter
Finnish: Valkoviklo French: Chevalier aboyeur
German: Grünschenkel Hungarian: Szürke cankó
Icelandic: Lyngstelkur Irish: Laidhrín Glas
Italian: Pantana Norwegian: Gluttsnipe
Polish: Kwokacz Portuguese: Perna-verde-comum
Spanish: Archibebe claro Swedish: Gluttsnäppa

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Nethersole-Thompson, D. & M. 1979 Greenshanks Poyser, Berkhamstead [598.612 NET]
   Nethersole-Thompson, D. 1951 The greenshank Collins, London [598.612 NET]
   Nethersole-Thompson, D. & M. 1986 Waders, their breeding, haunts and watchers Poyser, London [598.6 NET]
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