Common GreenshankTringa nebularia

adult, breeding
Martin Hale/VIREO
immature (1st year)
Steve Young/VIREO
adult, breeding
Jari Peltomaki/VIREO
Common Greenshank



12" (30.5 cm). Similar to Greater Yellowlegs, except legs greenish; lower back and rump white, tail barred with gray; bill has distinct upward sweep.


A sharp tew-tew-tew, all on same pitch.


Breeds in taiga marshes, bogs, and wet meadows; frequents marshes, pond and lakeshores, and mudflats during migration and winter.


Breeds in northern Eurasia. Winters from the Mediterranean region east to eastern China south to southern Africa, New Guinea, and Australia.


In North America the Common Greenshank occurs as a regular migrant only in the Aleutian Islands and casually in the Pribilofs; however, an occurrence in Newfoundland suggests the possibility that future Atlantic Coast records are possible. Some authorities have suggested that the Common Greenshank and the Greater Yellowlegs constitute a superspecies.


4 off white eggs, heavily blotched, streaked, and speckled with varying shades of red and chocolate brown, with surface markings of gray, violet, and lavender, in a grass-lined scrape, often near a rock or piece of wood.

Similar Species

adult male, breeding

Spotted Redshank

12" (30.5 cm). A slim, yellowlegslike shorebird; bill long and slender with a droop at the very tip, lower mandible red; legs orange or orange-red legs.

adult, breeding

Lesser Yellowlegs

10 1/2" (27 cm). A slender, gray-streaked wader with conspicuous white rump and long yellow legs.

adult, breeding

Greater Yellowlegs

14" (36 cm). A slender, gray-streaked wader with conspicuous white rump and long yellow legs.


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