Common greenshanks are brown in breeding plumage, and grey-brown in winter. When in water, they can appear very similar to marsh sandpipers but are distinguished by the shape of the lower bill which gives it an upturned appearance to the bill. They have long greenish legs and a long bill with a grey base. They show a white wedge on the back in flight. They are somewhat larger than the related common redshank.
Habitat and Distribution
This is a subarctic bird, breeding from northern Scotland eastwards across northern Europe and Asia. It is a migratory species, wintering in Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, and Australasia, usually on fresh water.
Like most waders, they feed on small invertebrates, but will also take small fish and amphibians.
It breeds on dry ground near marshy areas, laying about four eggs in a ground scrape.
Calls and Songs
The usual call is a rapid series of three short fluty notes syllabilized as teu-teu-teu.