Common Greenshank, Greenshank  |  

Tringa nebularia

The Common Greenshank is a heavily built, elegant wader, 30–35 cm in length, with a wingspan of 55–65 cm and weight up to 190 g for both males and females. The bill is long and slightly upturned and the legs are long and yellowish-green. In flight, all plumages show uniformly dark upperwing and constrasting white rump extending in a white wedge up the back, whitish tail and tips of toes projecting slightly beyond the tip of the tail. The sexes are alike. The species is seen singly or in small to large flocks (sometimes hundreds) in a variety of coastal and inland wetlands. Wary, noisy and excitable, the Common Greenshank bobs its head in alarm and flushes with ringing calls, often long before other species. Flight is rapid and often zigzagging. The usual flight call is a distinctive, quick ringing whistle of two, three or four syllables. Head and neck are white with heavy black streaking, the interwing coverts are mostly brownish-grey with white fringes. The underbody is white with fine black streaks on chin and throat and there are bold black chevrons on breast and flank. The underwing is white with faint brownish barring on covers and the bill is bluish grey or greenish grey, legs and feet are pale greyish-green. Like adult non-breeding but head and neck slightly darker with heavier, darker streaking. Bare parts are similar to the adult, but juvenile legs and feet are occasionally bright pale-yellow, dull yellow or dull slate-grey.

Government evidence of impact of climate change:

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  • Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Species Profile and Threats Database, Tringa nebularia

    Threats Top Global Threats There are a number of threats that affect migratory shorebirds in the East Asian Australasian Flyway.

    Global warming and associated changes in sea level are likely to have a long term impact on the breeding; staging and non breeding grounds of migratory waders (Harding et al. 2007).