This species is a somewhat plump wader with a dark greenish-brown back and wings, greyish head and breast and otherwise white underparts. The back is spotted white to varying extents, being maximal in the breeding adult, and less in winter and young birds. The legs and short bill are both dark green.
It is conspicuous and characteristically patterned in flight, with the wings dark above and below and a brilliant white rump.
In flight it has a characteristic three-note whistle.
Distribution and ecologyEdit
It breeds across subarctic Europe and Asia and is a migratory bird, wintering in southern Europe and Asia, and tropical Africa. Food is small invertebrate items picked off the mud as this species works steadily around the edges of its chosen pond.
This is not a gregarious species, although sometimes small numbers congregate in suitable feeding areas. Green Sandpiper is very much a bird of freshwater, and is often found in sites too restricted for other waders, which tend to like a clear all-round view.
It lays 2-4 eggs in an old tree nest of another species, such as a Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris). The clutch takes about three weeks to hatch.
The Green Sandpiper is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies. Widely distributed and not uncommon, it is not considered a threatened species by the IUCN.