Green Sandpiper

Tringa ochropus Linnaeus, 1758

Totanus ochropus L. Reiser, 1894: 167; Tringa ocrophus L. Boetticher, 1927: 194; Helodromas ochropus L.: Boetticher, 1919: 239.

Order Charadriiformes

Family Scolopacidae

Conservation status: in Bulgaria: Endangered EN=[A3, D, E], BDA-III; International: BD-I, BeC-II, BoC-II.

General distribution. A Palearctic species. In Europe it breeds on the Scandinavian peninsula, in the Northern and Central part of European Russia, the Baltic countries, Byelorussia, Poland, the Ukraine, Germany, the Czech Republic and very rarely in Denmark, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Macedonia.

Distribution and abundance in Bulgaria. A breeding summer visitor and wintering species. In the past it was registered many times [1-4], but in most of the old breeding places it was not confirmed during the last 10 years. At present it is found mainly along the rivers Danube, Iskar, Vit, Osam, Beli Lom and the Black Sea coast [5, 6,]. Separate pairs breed episodically in the middle reaches of rivers, near reservoirs and fishponds. A total of 52 breeding places are known, 18 of which were confirmed in the last 20 years. Most of them have the lowest degree of significance for breeding. The total numbers are unstudied but hardly higher than 50-70 pairs. In the autumn-winter period and during migration it is found more often [7].

Habitats. Shallow shores of rivers and standing wetlands, wet meadows and pastures near reservoirs.

Biology. It breeds both on the ground near the wetlands and in old nests of crow birds, thrushes and other birds. It lays 4 light brown or pale ochre eggs with dark dots. Incubation continues for 20-23 days. The young ones start flying at the age of three weeks [3, 8]. It feeds on different invertebrates in and around the water: worms, mollusks, beetles, larvae of water insects, etc.

Similar species. The Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola).

Negative factors. Drying up the marshes; correction and cleaning of river beds, including their digging when extracting inert materials; building of water electric power stations; illegal shooting; pollution of the waters.

Conservation measures taken. Protected according to the Biological Diversity Act. Included in the Red Data Book of Bulgaria (1985). Part ot the breeding localities are in Protected Territories (the reserve Atanasovsko Ezero, the Shabla Lake Protected Locality, Persina Nature Park and Strandzha Nature Park).

Conservation measures needed. Conservation of the natural state of the river ecosystems (the rivers Tundzha, Kamchiya, Vit, Iskar, etc.), in which it has been registered. Partial restoration of the swamps of the island of Persina, Straldzha, Aldomirovo, Karaboaz and the Svishtov swamp. Strict control on hunting trips and violations of the nature conservation legislation.

References. 1. Nankinov, 1982; 2. Nankinov, 1985; 3. Nankinov et al., 1997; 4. Iankov, 1986; 5. Spiridonov, 1988; 6. Shurulinkov et al., 2005; 7. Michev, Profirov, 2003; 8. Ryabitsev, 2002.

Author: Petar Shurulinkov

Green Sandpiper (distribution map)

Green Sandpiper (drawing)