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. The latter feature reliably distinguishes it from the slightly smaller but otherwise very similar Solitary Sandpiper of North America.
Habitat and Distribution
The Green sandpiper breeds across subarctic Europe and Asia and is a migratory bird, wintering in southern Europe, the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and tropical Africa. 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.
Food is small invertebrate items picked off the mud as this species works steadily around the edges of its chosen pond.
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.
Calls and Songs
In flight it has a characteristic three-note whistle.