Tringa totanus

What do they look like?

Redshanks are larger wading birds with a speckled grey-brown back and a mottled buff coloured chest fading into an off white belly. As their name would suggest, redshanks have long red legs and a matching bill, the tip of which fades into black. In flight, redshanks have a white triangular wedge near the base of the tail.

When can I see them in Scotland?

All year.

Where can I see them in Scotland?

During winter redshanks can be seen around the coast of Scotland in habitats such as estuaries or coastal wetlands. A portion of Scotland's winter population migrates south to the Scottish coast from places such as Iceland, meaning you may have a better chance of seeing them during the colder months. During their summer breeding season, you may also see redshanks further inland in flooded meadows, salt marshes or around lakes. Redshanks feed in shallow water but are also spotted perched atop fence posts or rocks while resting.

Conservation Status:

In the UK, bird species with breeding, passage or wintering populations are assessed by experts and assigned to the Red, Amber or Green lists of conservation concern. Redshanks are currently an ‘Amber’ listed species.

62 cm
24 days
25-35 days
4 years
Average lifespan

Redshank standing on the tideline
© Emily Burton