An Eco-sustainable World
BirdsSpecies Animal

Tringa glareola

Tringa glareola

The wood sandpiper (Tringa glareola, Linnaeus 1758) is a bird belonging to the Scolopacidae family.

Systematics –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
Domain Eukarya,
Kingdom Animalia,
Subkingdom Eumetazoa,
Superphylum Deuterostomia,
Phylum Chordata,
Subphylum Vertebrata,
Infraphylum Gnathostomata,
Superclass Tetrapoda,
Aves class,
Order Charadriiformes,
Suborder Piarist,
family Scolopacidae,
Genus Tringa,
Species T. glareola.
The terms are synonyms:
– Rhyacophilus glareola (Linnaeus, 1758);
– Totanus glareolus (Linnaeus, 1758).

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
The Tringa glareola is a monotypic subspecies which lives in a vast range which includes: all Europe, Asia and Africa, Australia and some islands of the western Pacific Ocean, Alaska, Greenland, Yukon, British Columbia and some Caribbean islands (Virgin Islands, Martinique, Guadeloupe, etc.).
This bird is a migratory bird in Ecuador, the Marshall Islands, Mauritius and the Faroe Islands and is a migratory bird, common throughout marshes and ponds.

Description –
The Tringa glareola is a small wader with a length of 19,5-23 cm, for a weight of 60-80 gr and a wingspan of 40 – 45 cm.
The male and the female have a practically identical livery with brown color speckled with dirty white in the upper parts, dirty white in the lower ones.
The colouration, going from the upper parts to the lower ones, appears sensibly shaded unlike the Yellow-legged Yellowtail which appears decisively more contrasted. The eyebrow is tenuous, the beak is greenish brown and is slightly shorter than the head; the legs are greenish.
During the flight phase we can appreciate the lack of wing bars and the white rump which fades to brown towards the terminal part of the tail with fairly thick bars. Juveniles are very similar to adults.
However, these birds moult all their primary feathers between August and December, while immature birds moult their outer primaries in variable numbers between December and April, much closer to their departure from Africa.
Immatures are also much more flexible than adults in the timing and speed of moulting and replenishment.

Biology –
The Tringa glareola is a long-range migratory bird, which nests in medium and high latitudes from Eastern Europe to Eastern Siberia. In Italy it is a regular migrant and an irregular winter visitor with some isolated individuals.
During the reproductive period it frequents the marshy lands in clearings of the forests, the peat bogs, the moors, the moors and the tundra, while during the migration and in the wintering areas it settles in the inland and coastal wetlands with shallow waters, such as shores of lakes and rivers, lagoons, marshes, rice paddies, marshes, ponds, temporarily flooded land, brackish wetlands.
This species breeds in subarctic wetlands from the Scottish Highlands across Europe and then east through the Palearctic. Migrates to Africa, South Asia, especially India and Australia. Vagrant birds have been seen in the Pacific as far away as the Hawaiian Islands. In Micronesia, it is an assiduous visitor to the Mariana Islands (where flocks of up to 32 birds are reported) and Palau; it is recorded in Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands about once every decade. This species is encountered in the western Pacific region between mid-October and mid-May.
It breeds on open ground or in forest clearings.
The nest is built through a simple cavity in the ground covered with a few leaves or herbs; here it lays 3-4 shiny eggs of very variable colour, from greenish to olive stained with brown or violet.
The eggs are incubated by the female alone while the chicks are mainly cared for by the male. Reproduction occurs only once a year.

Ecological Role –
The Tringa glareola is a small wader whose species name derives from the Latin glarea, “gravel”.
It is a bird that leads a solitary life or in pairs, but during the migration it also gathers in numerous herds, often associating itself with other waders. It has a very fast and extremely agile flight, especially when taking off from the ground. On the ground, he walks upright.
This bird, during migration and wintering, is usually found in fresh water.
It nourishes by probing shallow waters or in the humid mud, mainly taking insects and similar small preys; in general, its diet consists of small invertebrates such as insects and their larvae, small crustaceans and molluscs, spiders, annelids, but also small fish and seeds of grasses and aquatic plants.
Adults and immatures that build up large amounts of body reserves, equal to about 50% of their lean body mass, can potentially fly distances of 2397–4490 km in a nonstop flight.
The Lesser Yellowlegs is one of the species covered by the Agreement on the Conservation of Afro-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA).
It is widespread and is considered a Least Concern species by the IUCN.

Guido Bissanti

– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– GBIF, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
– C.Battisti, D. Taffon, F. Giucca, 2008. Atlas of nesting birds, Gangemi Editore, Rome.
– L. Svensson, K.Mullarney, D. Zetterstrom, 1999. Guide to Birds of Europe, North Africa and the Near East, Harper Collins Publisher, UK.
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