Tringa totanus   (Linnaeus,  1758) (Bird)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Aves

Image copyrights: Pbase

Size: 27-29 cm; Length: 25-28 cm.

Color: Above mottled dull greyish brown; below white with light greyish brown streaking on neck and breast; forehead grey with white line from base of bill to just over eye; distinct white wedge on trailing edge of spread wing; white wedge on back seen in flight; tail finely barred grey; breeding bird more cinnamon-brown with heavy streaking on underparts. Immature buffier than adult below. Bare parts: iris brown; bill black with basal half red or orange-red; feet and legs orange-red, yellow-orange in immature.

Voice: Shrill piping tiwee-tiwee.

Habits: Occurs alone or in small groups with other waders, wary and noisy, feeds by picking from surface while walking, shallow water wader.

Adult: Sexes alike. Non-breeding (winter): Mottled grey-brown above and white below with orange-red legs and basal third of bill, lower back, rump and tail white, the last barred with brown, breast finely streaked with brown. Breeding (summer): Upperparts streaked and spotted with black and fulvous, upper breast heavily streaked with brown, lower breast with dark crescent spots. The white edges to the dark greyish wings and the white lower back and rump are diagnostic in flight. Juvenile: More rufous above, scapulars with fulvous spots, flanks with more black bands.

Nesting: Season- within Indian limits (Kashmir, Ladakh, etc.) May to July. Eggs- 4, yellowish to greenish stone-color, handsomely blotched with reddish brown or purplish black with underlying lavender or reddish grey spots. Laid in a depression within a grass clump near a bog.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
• Common Redshank (English)
• Redshank (English)
• Chhota batan (Hindi)
• Surma (Hindi)
• Mali kottan (Tamil)
• Surma (Marathi)
• Ngahoibi
Economic Importance and Threats
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(The species is threatened by the loss of breeding and wintering habitats through agricultural intensification, wetland drainage, flood control, afforestation, land reclamation, industrial development, encroachment of Spartina spp. on mudflats improvement of marginal grasslands (e.g. by drainage, inorganic fertilising and re-seeding), coastal barrage construction, and heavy grazing (e.g. of saltmarshes). )
Threats:  Natural threats
(It is vulnerable to severe cold periods on its Western European wintering grounds and suffers from nest predation by introduced predators (e.g. European hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus) on some islands. The species is also susceptible to avian influenza so may be threatened by future outbreaks of the viurs.)

Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Carnivorous, comprising molluscs, aquatic insects and worms.
Predator:  European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeuson) on some islands
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• Goa, Terekhol Estuary INDIA (Record: 01/03/1983)
• Tamil Nadu, Pichavaram INDIA (Record: 08/1986-07/1987)
• Orissa, Satpara INDIA (Record: 09/12/1986)
• Orissa, Barkul INDIA (Record: 05/09/1987)
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Pichavaram INDIA
• Gujarat, Gulf of Kachchh INDIA
• Kerala, Kol wetlands (Lat: 10.66) (Long: 76.18) INDIA
• Kerala, Kol wetlands (Lat: 10.33) (Long: 75.96) INDIA
• Kerala, Vembanad Lake (Lat: 9.28) (Long: 76.31) INDIA
• Kerala, Vembanad Lake (Lat: 9.66) (Long: 76.55) INDIA
• Orissa, Dhamra Port INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Haryana, Kurukshetra INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Point Calimere (Lat: 10.3) (Long: 79.85) INDIA
• Orissa, Bhitarkanika INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA
• Kerela, Kuttanad wetlands INDIA
• Arunachal Pradesh, Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Kumar, A; Sati, JP; Tak, PC and Alfred, JRB (2005) Handbook on Indian wetland birds and their conservation Zoological Survey of India, Dehra Dun 468 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Lainer, H (2004) Birds of Goa : A reference book The Goa Foundation, Goa 244 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Ali, S (1977) The book of Indian birds Bombay Natural History Society 175 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • PBase Available at -
  • Sampath, K and Krishnamurthy, K (1990) Shorebirds (Charadriiformes) of the Pichavaram Mangroves, Tamil Nadu, India Wader Study Group Bulletin 58 24-27 Available at -
  • Chattopadhyay, S (1995) Aves Wetland ecosystem series 1: Fauna of Chilika lake ZSI, Calcutta 561-599 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Marine Biological Station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2003) Checklist of marine fauna of Tamil Nadu Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Available at -
  • (1997) Coastal marine environment of Gujarat 178pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Nameer, PO (2005) Wetlands and waterfowl conservation in kerala with special reference to Ramsar sites kerala environment congress 2005 Centre for environment and development 97-112 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Dutta, SK (2007) Biodiversity assessment of Dhamra port site and surrounding areas, Orissa Greenpeace India 4-38 Available at -
  • Das, AK and Roy, MKD (1989) A general account of the mangrove fauna of Andaman and Nicobar islands Fauna of conservation areas Zoological survey of India 1-152 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Srinivasulu, C (2004) Birds of kawal wildlife sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh , India Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 101(1) 3-25 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Avibase- the world database Available at -
  • Vernacular names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent Buceros, Envis newsletter: Avian Ecology & Inland Wetlands 62pp Available at -
  • Shanbag A.B, Walia R and Borges S.D (2001) Impact of Konkan railway project on the avifauna of Carambolim lake in Goa Zoos' print journal 16(6) 503-508 Available at -
  • Gupta RC, Kaushik TK and Gupta PK (2012) WINTER MIGRATORY WETLAND BIRDS IN HARYANA ARE CONFRONTING ADVERSE CONDITIONS IN RURAL PONDS Resulting in reduction in arrival number: A case study of village Amin in Thanesar block in Kurukshetra district Indian Journal of Fundamental and Applied Life Sciences 2 (1) 7pp Available at -
  • Kumar P and Gupta SK (2009) Diversity and Abundance of Wetland Birds around Kurukshetra, India Our Nature 7 212-217 Available at -
  • Lal Mohan RS (1986) Birds and Bird Catchers Of Ramanathapuram Coast Available at -
  • Manakadan R and Pittie A (2001) Standardized English names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent BUCEROS Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetland 6(1) 26pp Available at -
  • Kumar A, sati JP and Tak CK (2003) Checklist of Indian Waterbids Buceros Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetlands 8(1) 30pp Available at -
  • Nayak, A.K. (2006) Status of migratory shorebirds at Bhitarkanika and Chilika wetlands on the east coast of India Waterbirds around the world. Eds. G.C. Boere, C.A. Galbraith & D.A. Stroud The Stationery Office, Edinburgh, UK 305-307pp Available at -
  • Narayanan SP, Thomas AP and Sreekumar B (2011) Ornithofauna and its conservation in the Kuttanad wetlands, southern portion of Vembanad-Kole Ramsar site, India Journal of Threatened Taxa 3(4) 1663–1676 Available at -
  • Rao VV, Anjaneyulu M, Nagulu V, Srinivasulu C and Satyanarayana D (2004) Water fowl Status at Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh EPTRI - ENVIS Newsletter 10(4) 7-12pp Available at -,%20No.4,%202004.pdf
  • Sivaperuman C and Jayson EA (2000) Birds of Kol wetland, Thrissur, Kerala Zoo's print journal 15(10) 344-349pp Available at -

Page last updated on:2012-06-29

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