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Spotting The Common Redshank

Spotting and photographing the Common Redshank with the help of Eschenbach.

| Eschenbach Arena D+ 10x50 B in Animals / Wildlife

Spotting The Common Redshank : Redshank


The redshank’s long legs and pointed beak make him very recognisable. They both are great tools to search for food in the mud. The adult Redshank can measure up to 30 centimetres. Males and females are difficult to distinguish from each other: their plumages’ are very similar. Their underside is a white and brown pattern while their back is in a darker, more sustained brown and speckled with black-gray. The head is mottled brown and a bright ring surrounds the eye. A characteristic feature of the species is the long, straight beak, which has a gradient colour ranging from red to black from its base to the tip. Their long legs are of a bright orange all year long, except during the breeding period when they turn bright red: this is the reason why they got their names.



The Redshank is an endangered bird species. Only 9,000 to 12,000 breeding pairs live in Germany. However, there are some European countries with a larger number of Redshanks such as the UK, Iceland, Norway, the Netherlands or the European part of Russia. Important breeding areas are located in Poland, Hungary and Austria. In Europe, Redshanks are more likely to be found in the coastal zones while in Asia they can be spotted in the steppes and deserts. The Redshank can be observed in the muds of the Wadden Sea, at the frontier between the Netherlands and Germany. The Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania coast in Germany (for example, Wismar Bay, Greifswald Bay lagoons, Rügen, Hiddensee) is also a great zone to picture him. The Redshanks’ favourite places are coast edges and flooded meadows.


Photographing tips

The long beak and the red legs are great distinctive features. To the Redshank, they are really important “tools” to feed. The long legs are very useful in the muds while the beak is used to root insects, worms, mussels and small crustaceans out the sand or silt.In winter, the Redshanks migrate to warmer regions such as the Mediterranean or West Africa. On their return, one can hear their melancholic fluttered calls. The young waders usually return to their brooding place. Thus, if no major disturbance occurs, they return each year to start the courtship ritual and breed in March. The eggs are placed in a shallow hole on the ground, hidden in the tall grass. They are brooded by both parents and the young will hatch after four weeks. The chicks quickly become active and begin their first flight attempts after only 3 weeks.


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NeilSchofield Avatar
NeilSchofield Plus
16 1.8k 1 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2017 11:30PM

Can anyone explain his behaviour

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