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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 12:48 EDT

Marsh Sandpiper

The Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis) is a species of wading bird that breeds in open grassy steppe and taiga wetlands from eastern Europe to central Asia. It is migratory and most of the populations winter in Africa, and India. Smaller populations migrate to Southeast Asia and Australia. Its preferred wintering habitat is fresh water wetlands such as swamps and lakes.

Close in appearance to the elegant Greenshank, it has a long, fine bill and very long yellowish legs. Like the Greenshank, it has gray-brown breeding plumage, which is paler in winter. There is a white wedge up the back that is visible in flight. However, it is more closely related to the Common Redshank and Wood Sandpiper.

The Marsh Sandpiper forages in shallow water or wet mud. The diet is mainly insects, and other small prey of similar size. It is seen either singly or in small groups. The Marsh Sandpiper is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

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Marsh Sandpiper