Common redshanks (/Tringa totanus/) mcan be identified by their long, bright orange-red legs which give them their name. They are speckled brown on their back, wings, and head, with paler feathers below. Their bills are long and thin, and their colouring is dark near the tip and orange closer to the head.

The common redshank is a wader that lives across Asia, Europe, and North Africa. Its native breeding grounds include Iceland and other Nordic countries, as redshanks like to breed in cool, damp places. They can also be seen in the UK, especially in Scotland and Northern England. Some of the redshanks seen in the UK may even be from Iceland!

Common redshanks feed by poking their long beaks into the sand and mud of the seashore in search of crustaceans, worms, and mollusks to eat. Like many marine animals, they may be at risk of ingesting microplastic particles, either by consuming them directly from the mud or by eating prey that have consumed plastic. Although we are not running any projects on the common redshank this year, testing them for plastic pollution could be an interesting project idea for the future.

The common redshank is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List due to its large range and population size. Although there is not much information on population trends, the population of redshanks is still quite large.

Further reading:

[Redshank Bird Facts | Tringa Totanus – The RSPB](


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