Spotted Redshank

Spotted Redshank

Key facts

Scientific name: Tringa erythropus

Status: Winter visitor and passage migrant

UK wintering birds: 98 birds

UK passage: 540 birds

Conservation status: Amber

Length: 29 – 32 cm

Wingspan: 61 – 67 cm

Weight: 140 – 200 g


Male spotted redshanks in breeding plumage are almost completely black except for some white spots on their wings, and white fringes on their breasts, flanks, and belly. They have sooty-black heads, necks, and underparts and white rumps. Their tails are dark grey with narrow white bars. They have black bills with a red base which droops at the tip. Their eyes are dark brown with white eyelids and their legs and feet are bright red.

Females are slightly larger than males with lighter plumage and white tips on their crowns.

Out of breeding season spotted redshanks have brown upperparts and spotted wing coverts, and pale grey underparts with finely barred rear flanks and undertail. They have a white supercilium on their heads, black lores and white cheeks. Their legs and feet are orange.

Juvenile spotted redshanks are darker and browner with dense white spots. They have white chins and throats, and grey barred underparts.


Spotted redshanks nest in scattered pairs. The nest is built on the ground in a shallow depression lined with grass, dried leaves, pine, needles, stems, and feathers.

Spotted redshanks lay 4 pale green eggs with dark markings which are incubated by both parents but mostly the male for 23-25 days. Males rear the chicks alone which fledge 28 days after hatching.


Spotted redshanks eat insects as well as crustaceans, molluscs, worms, small fish, and amphibians.  

Spotted Redshank

Where to see them

Spotted redshanks spend the winter on coastal wetlands around the UK. They are scarcer in Scotland .


Albert Lastukhin/xeno-canto

Did you know?

Spotted redshanks are also known as dusky redshanks or black redshanks. 

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