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Tringa ochropus (Green sandpiper) 

Witgatruiter [Afrikaans]; Witgatje [Dutch]; Chevalier cul-blanc [French]; Waldwasserläufer [German]; Maçarico-bique-bique [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Charadriiformes > Family: Scolopacidae

Tringa ochropus (Green sandpiper)   

Green sandpiper, Portugal. [photo Joaquim Antunes ©]


Distribution and habitat

Breeds in a broad belt of forest and taiga from 50-65° North, heading south in the non-breeding season to the Mediterranean, southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal to Ethiopia south to southern Africa. Here it is generally scarce, occurring in patches of Zimbabwe, Limpopo Province, northern and southern Botswana and central Mozambique, generally preferring small streams, pools in vleis and woodland, ditches and moist margins of large water bodies.

Distribution of Green sandpiper in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  

Movements and migrations

Non-breeding migrant to southern Africa, arriving in early September and August and leaving in the period from April-May.


It mainly eats insects, crustaceans, spiders, molluscs, annelids, fish and plant material, doing most of its foraging under overhanging vegetation, plucking prey from the ground or shallow water or trembling its foot in water to disturb resting animals.


Not threatened.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.