It resembles a longer-legged and more delicate green (T. ochropus) or solitary sandpiper (T. solitaria) with a short fine bill, brown back and longer yellowish legs. It differs from the first of those species in a smaller and less contrasting white rump patch, while the solitary sandpiper has no white rump patch at all. However, it is not very closely related to these two species. Rather, its closest relative is the common redshank (T. totanus), and these two share a sister relationship with the marsh sandpiper (T. stagnatilis). These three species are a group of smallish shanks with red or yellowish legs, a breeding plumage that is generally subdued light brown above with some darker mottling and with a pattern of somewhat diffuse small brownish spots on the breast and neck.
Habitat and Distribution
The wood sandpiper breeds in subarctic wetlands from the Scottish Highlands across Europe and Asia. They migrate to Africa, Southern Asia, particularly India, and Australia. This bird is usually found on freshwater during migration and wintering.
They forage by probing in shallow water or on wet mud, and mainly eat insects and similar small prey.
This bird nests on the ground or uses an abandoned old tree nest of another bird, such as the fieldfare (Turdus pilaris). Four pale green eggs are laid between March and May.