Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Common redshank

In Thai: นกทะเลขาแดงธรรมดา, nok tha-le kaa daeng tam-ma-daa

Binomial name: Tringa totanus, Carolus Linnaeus, 1758

The common redshank or simply redshank (Tringa totanus) is a Eurasian wader in the large family Scolopacidae. The genus name Tringa is the New Latin name given to the green sandpiper by Aldrovandus in 1599 based on Ancient Greek trungas, a thrush-sized, white-rumped, tail-bobbing wading bird mentioned by Aristotle. The specific totanus is from Tótano, the Italian name for this bird.

Description and systematics

Common redshanks in breeding plumage are a marbled brown color, slightly lighter below. In winter plumage they become somewhat lighter-toned and less patterned, being rather plain greyish-brown above and whitish below. They have red legs and a black-tipped red bill, and show white up the back and on the wings in flight.

The spotted redshank (T. erythropus), which breeds in the Arctic, has a longer bill and legs; it is almost entirely black in breeding plumage and very pale in winter. It is not a particularly close relative of the common redshank, but rather belongs to a high-latitude lineage of largish shanks. T. totanus on the other hand is closely related to the marsh sandpiper (T. stagnatilis), and closer still to the small wood sandpiper (T. glareola). The ancestors of the latter and the common redshank seem to have diverged around the Miocene-Pliocene boundary, about 5–6 million years ago. These three subarctic- to temperate-region species form a group of smallish shanks with have red or yellowish legs, and in breeding plumage are generally a subdued light brown above with some darker mottling, and have somewhat diffuse small brownish spots on the breast and neck.

Subspecies

Several subspecies have been identified. These include:

  • T. t. robusta - (Schiøler, 1919): found in Iceland and the Faroe Islands.
  • T. t. ussuriensis - Buturlin, 1934: found in southern Siberia, Mongolia and east Asia
  • T. t. terrignotae - Meinertzhagen, R. & Meinertzhagen, A., 1926: found in southern Manchuria and eastern China
  • T. t. craggi - Hale, 1971: found in north west China
  • T. t. eurhina - (Oberholser, 1900): found in Tajikistan, north India and Tibet

Ecology

The common redshank is a widespread breeding bird across temperate Eurasia. It is a migratory species, wintering on coasts around the Mediterranean, on the Atlantic coast of Europe from Ireland and Great Britain southwards, and in South Asia. They are uncommon vagrants outside these areas; on Palau in Micronesia for example, the species was recorded in the mid-1970s and in 2000.

They are wary and noisy birds which will alert everything else with their loud piping call. Like most waders, they feed on small invertebrates. Redshanks will nest in any wetland, from damp meadows to saltmarsh, often at high densities. They lay 3–5 eggs.

The common redshank is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

It is widely distributed and quite plentiful in some regions, and thus not considered a threatened species by the IUCN.

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Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Charadriiformes
Family
Scolopacidae
Genus
Tringa
Species
Tringa totanus

Common names

  • English: Common redshank
  • French: Chevalier gambette
  • Thai: นกทะเลขาแดงธรรมดา, nok tha-le kaa daeng tam-ma-daa

Subspecies

  • Tringa totanus craggi, Hale, 1971

    Range: Northwest China

  • Tringa totanus eurhina, Harry Church Oberholser, 1900

    Range: Tajikistan, north India and Tibet

  • Tringa totanus robusta, Eiler Theodor Lehn Schiøler, 1919

    Range: Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

  • Tringa totanus terrignotae, Richard Meinertzhagen & Annie Meinertzhagen, 1926

    Range: Southern Manchuria and eastern China

  • Tringa totanus ussuriensis, Sergei Aleksandrovich Buturlin, 1934

    Range: Southern Siberia, Mongolia and east Asia

Synonyms

  • Tringa gambetta, Carolus Linnaeus (1758)
  • Scolopax totanus, Carolus Linnaeus (1758)
  • Totanus totanus, Carolus Linnaeus (1758)

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Range Map

Distribution map of Common redshank, Tringa totanus in Thailand
  • Amphawa District, Samut Songkhram
  • Ban Laem District, Phetchaburi
  • Ban Phai District, Khon Kaen
  • Bang Pakong District, Chachoengsao
  • Bang Phra Non-Hunting Area
  • Bang Pu Recreation Centre
  • Borabue District, Maha Sarakham
  • Bueng Boraped Non-Hunting Area
  • Doi Lo District, Chiang Mai
  • Hat Chao Mai National Park
  • Hat Noppharat Thara - Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park
  • Hat Wanakon National Park
  • Hat Yai District, Songkhla
  • Huai Chorakhe Mak Reservoir Non-Hunting Area
  • Kantharawichai District, Maha Sarakham
  • Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
  • Khao Yoi District, Phetchaburi
  • Klaeng District, Rayong
  • Ko Libong
  • Kumphawapi District, Udon Thani
  • Laem Pak Bia
  • Mae Ai District, Chiang Mai
  • Mueang Chonburi District, Chonburi
  • Mueang Kalasin District, Kalasin
  • Mueang Khon Kaen District, Khon Kaen
  • Mueang Krabi District, Krabi
  • Mueang Pattani District, Pattani
  • Mueang Phetchaburi District, Phetchaburi
  • Mueang Phuket District, Phuket
  • Mueang Prachuap Khiri Khan District, Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • Mueang Samut Sakhon District, Samut Sakhon
  • Mueang Samut Songkhram District, Samut Songkhram
  • Mueang Satun District, Satun
  • Mueang Suphanburi District, Suphan Buri
  • Mueang Surin District, Surin
  • Mueang Trat District, Trat
  • Nong Song Hong District, Khon Kaen
  • Pak Phli District, Nakhon Nayok
  • Pak Thale
  • Pran Buri Forest Park
  • Samut Prakan Province
  • Sanam Bin Reservoir Non-Hunting Area
  • Takua Pa District, Phang Nga
  • Thanyaburi District, Pathum Thani
Range map of Tringa totanus in Thailand