Fun Common Greenshank Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Common Greenshank Facts For Kids

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Do you like sandpipers, tattlers, and greenshanks, like the white-rumped sandpiper and the least sandpiper? Then here we have all the information on the common greenshank. The common greenshank (Tringa nebularia) is a migratory wader bird species. The breeding birds of the species are found in north Scotland, central Asia, and northern Europe. The non-breeding birds migrate to South Asia, Australasia, Middle East, Western Europe, and to many more places. The usual habitats of the birds are shallow-water wetlands and the taiga zone. These birds can be identified by their long green legs, white rump, and wings that look dark when they are in flight. These birds look beautiful when in flight. They have also been seen to move their heads when alarmed or threatened in a head-bobbing manner. However, they don't face many threats, which is why their conservation status is listed as Least Concern.

Read on to know the breeding behavior, geographic distribution, physical description, and more about the common greenshanks. If you like this article, then also check out Agami heron and Inca dove.

Fun Common Greenshank Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Large and small fish, crustaceans, amphibians, rodents, and insects

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

4.4-10.6 oz (125-300 g)

How long are they?

11.8-13.8 in (30-35 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Gray, dark brown with brownish-black streaks

Skin Type


What were their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Taiga, Shallow Water Wetlands


Asia, Northern Europe, North Scotland









Common Greenshank Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a common greenshank?

Common greenshank (Tringa nebularia) is a species of wader bird.

What class of animal does a common greenshank belong to?

The common greenshank bird belongs to the family Scolopacidae and class Aves of animals.

How many common greenshanks are there in the world?

The population range of these birds living in Europe is estimated somewhere between 197000-405000 individual mature birds. The global population range has been estimated somewhere between 440000-1500000 individual mature birds around the world. In the places where it could be counted, the population trend has been mostly stable there.

Where does a common greenshank live?

The breeding common greenshank is primarily found living in Scandinavia, northern Europe, and north Scotland to the east through central Asia to Kamchatka and east Siberia. These birds are not endemic. The non-breeding birds can be seen in the east through the Middle East to Australasia, Indonesia, and South Asia, like the Indian subcontinent, and from Madagascar and Africa through the Mediterranean to west Europe.

What is a common greenshank's habitat?

For primary habitat, common areas to live for the breeding birds is the taiga zone, more specifically the middle and northern taiga. They can be seen near blanket and open bogs, marshes, forest clearings, and woody moorlands. The non-breeding birds can be found around habitats, like natural and artificial shallow water wetlands in winter. Specifically, they can be found near muddy or sandy coastal flats, dried-up lakes, dam lakes, swamps, inland flooded meadows, inundated rice crops, and more.

Who do common greenshanks live with?

Common greenshanks have been seen with large flocks made of only their species during the breeding season. However, during foraging, these birds can be found alone or can be found in small to large flocks made up of other species of sandpiper, shank, and tattler.

How long does a common greenshank live?

These birds live for about ten years on average. The oldest ringed bird was found to be about eleven years and eleven months old.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of the common greenshanks occurs around spring, and eggs are laid around April-June. Often the pairs have been seen to survive more than one season, while some males have been seen to be bigamous. Males have been seen to arrive first in the breeding site, and they establish a territory. Courtship behavior includes display flights, where males sing richly while rising up and down in the air. Females may join them as well. After copulation, the female lays a single brood of about three to five eggs on average. Both parents incubate the eggs for the next 22-26 days. The chicks fledge around 25-31 days after the eggs hatch.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the common greenshanks, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, is listed as Least Concern. The major threat this species is facing as of now is habitat loss due to dry conditions, pollution, and off-road vehicles. As preservation measures in Europe, these birds have been included in Annex II of the EU Birds Directive.

Common Greenshank Fun Facts

What do common greenshanks look like?

The common greenshank (Tringa nebularia) is a medium-sized wader bird species. However, they are known to be the largest among their genus. They have green-colored long legs and a long, somewhat untilted bill. They have a white rump and back. The upper breast, neck, and head of the birds have blackish-brown streaks, and these upper parts of the body are spotted. The plumage of the upper parts is paler than the plumage of Nordmann's greenshanks and greater yellowlegs. The lesser wing coverts are dark brown in color. The wings can look dark when the birds are in flight. The non-breeding adults have a few differences. The feathers of their upperparts are gray and don't possess dark streaks. Their face, foreneck, and breast are white, but the wing-coverts stay dark as usual. Juvenile birds have plumage similar to non-breeding adults.

The common greenshank has long green legs.

How cute are they?

Many people will find this wader bird pretty cute. These birds can look pretty gorgeous when in flight. They are also not known to be aggressive, which we think adds to their cuteness.

How do they communicate?

Common greenshanks communicate vocally and through body language. Like, when they are alarmed, they bob their heads, and males display courtship behavior to attract females. They have various calls like they give a quick 'too-hoo-too-hoo' series when displaying. The most heard call is 'tyu' or 'tew'. During the breeding season, a loud and repeated 'chip-chip-chip' can be heard. The volume and speed of this call change when threatened or protecting territory.

How big is a common greenshank?

A common adult greenshank is about 11.8-13.8 in (30-35 cm) in length. Their wingspan is about 26.8-27.5 in (68-70 cm). They are around two times bigger than the least sandpiper, which is about 5.1-5.9 in (13-15 cm) in length.

How fast can a common greenshank fly?

The exact speed at which the common greenshank flies is unknown. However, they have been seen to fly at a moderate pace.

How much does a common greenshank weigh?

A common adult greenshank weighs about 4.4-10.6 oz (125-300 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Males of the species are called cocks, and females are called hens.

What would you call a baby common greenshank?

A baby common greenshank is called a chick or a hatchling.

What do they eat?

These birds are carnivorous in nature. Their diet primarily consists of small fish, crustaceans, like shrimp or crabs, amphibians, annelids, rodents, larvae, and adult insects, mainly beetles. They have been seen to also go for large fish at times.

Are they dangerous?

They are not known to be dangerous or aggressive towards humans. Other than some aquatic animals, rodents, and insects, they don't possess any danger towards other species of animals as well.

Would they make a good pet?

No records of common greenshanks living as pets have been found. They require certain habitats to survive. That is why it's better not to take them away from their natural habitats.

Did you know...

Greater yellowlegs are a similar species of the common greenshanks. Other than greater yellowlegs, the marsh sandpiper is another similar species. The marsh sandpiper has an appearance very similar to the common greenshank, like the fact that they both have long legs. Some of the differences include the fact that the marsh sandpiper is smaller in size and has a thinner bill than a common greenshank.

Do common greenshanks migrate? 

Yes, common greenshanks migrate to the places from Madagascar and Africa through the Mediterranean to western Europe and to the east through the Middle East to Australasia, Indonesia, and South Asia in winter.

Can the common greenshank swim? 

No, common greenshanks are not known to swim. They forage in shallow waters.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these common raven facts and willow warbler facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Boho Birds coloring pages.

Main image by JJ Harrison and second image by Charles J. Sharp.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?