Visual Search | Wizard | Browse
Bird name:

Green Sandpiper

Tringa ochropus




Sandpipers (Scolopacidae)





Euring 5

iBird Ad

Breeding Location:


Breeding Type:


Egg Colour:

Smooth, glossy and pale cream tinted olive or green with purple to redddish brown specks and spots concentrated on the large end.

Number of Eggs:

2 - 4

Incubation Days:

20 - 23

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Material:

Plant material and some rearrangement of old nest.

Nest Location:

High in trees in abandoned nests of passerine species such as Common Woodpigeon, thrushes, crows, jays and shrikes; may also nest in squirrel dreys, on natural platforms up to 20 m high, and occasionally on tree stumps or mounds of accumulated pine needles, among branches and tree roots, or amongst fallen trees on the ground.




Green Sandpiper: Shorebird bit larger than Common Sandpiper. Dark brown-grey upperparts with some grey spotting. Dark streaking on head and upper breast. White throat, lores, and eye ring. Rest of underparts white, white tail with thick black bars, and white rump. Grey-green legs and black underwings. Fairly long, straight, thin, black bill. Sexes similar. Juvenile like adult but has more spotting on brown-grey upperparts.

Range and Habitat

Green Sandpiper: Occurs mostly as a winter visitor to the UK & Ireland; primarily seen in England and Wales. A few pairs nest in the Scottish Highlands. Breeds in northern Europe and Asia. Birds can be seen from late summer through spring. Found in freshwater habitats such as marshes, ponds, reservoirs, gravel pits, lakes and rivers, but also mudflats and wet grassland.

Breeding and Nesting

Green Sandpiper: Monogamous pair bond. Usually reuses the old nests of other birds or squirrels, in trees or on other platforms. Incubation for 20-23 days is mostly by female; male assists. Male mostly cares for young; female may leave before they fledge. One brood per season.

Foraging and Feeding

Green Sandpiper: Omnivorous, eating primarily aquatic and terrestrial insects. Also feeds on spiders, worms, small crustaceans, and fish. Forages mostly near the surface; rarely probes. Prefers freshwater food sources; rarely saltmarshes.


Green Sandpiper: Loud "weet weet wit wit."

Similar Species

Green Sandpiper: The Common Sandpiper is smaller, lighter above, has a longer tail, and has a thick, white shoulder wedge. The Wood Sandpiper has variegated coloration lower on the breast, yellow legs, and has a longer white eyebrow.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The upper front part of a bird.
Eye ringX
The circle around the eye formed of feathers that are a different color from the rest of the face.
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
4 and 6 letter alpha codesX

The four letter common name alpha code is is derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name. The six letter species name alpha code is derived from the first three letters of the scientific name (genus) and the first three letters of the scientific name (species). See (1) below for the rules used to create the codes..

Four-letter (for English common names) and six-letter (for scientific names) species alpha codes were developed by Pyle and DeSante (2003, North American Bird-Bander 28:64-79) to reflect A.O.U. taxonomy and nomenclature (A.O.U. 1998) as modified by Supplements 42 (Auk 117:847-858, 2000) and 43 (Auk 119:897-906, 2002). The list has been updated by Pyle and DeSante to reflect changes reported by the A.O.U from 2003 through 2006.


The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) was established in the mid-1990 s as a cooperative project among several federal agencies to improve and expand upon taxonomic data (known as the NODC Taxonomic Code) maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To find the ITIS page for a bird species go to the ITIS web site advanced search and report page at You can enter the TSN or the common name of the bird. It will return the ITIS page for that bird. Another way to obtain the ITIS page is to use the Google search engine. Enter the string ITIS followed by the taxonomic ID, for example "ITIS 178041" will return the page for the Allen's Hummingbird.

Parts of a Standing birdX
Head Feathers and MarkingsX
Parts of a Flying birdX