Tringa totanus


The redshank is a large sandpiper with long, bright red legs. Redshank are typical waders, feeding in shallow water around lakes, marshes, mudflats and coastal wetlands. It breeds on open marshes, mires and saltmarshes, particularly in Scotland and northern England. Look for redshank typically posed on top of a post, fence or rock in wet grassland or farmland areas.

How to identify

The only other wader with red legs, the spotted redshank, is larger with longer legs and a longer bill. When they fly, redshank have a white triangular wedge up the back and a wide white triangle on the rear. Brownish all over with a paler belly, redshank have a long, straight bill which is red at the base and black at the end.

Where to find it



When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

From 1982 to 2002, there was a 29% reduction in the number of breeding redshank in England and Wales - a significant decline mirrored in many of our wading birds. Wetland birds have suffered immensely from changing agricultural practices, land drainage and development, but The Wildlife Trusts are working with farmers and landowners to promote wildlife-friendly practices. We are working towards a 'Living Landscape': a network of habitats and wildlife corridors across town and country which are good for both wildlife and people. You can support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Tringa totanus
Wading birds
Length: 27-29cm Wingspan: 62cm Weight: 110-130g Average Lifespan: 4 years
Conservation status
Classified in the UK as an Amber List species under the Birds of Conservation Concern review.