Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus
The Green Sandpiper is a small, 9" (23cm) bird that is fairly thickset. Similar to the more common Wood Sandpiper
, but has more marked contrast between the dark upperparts and white underparts and lacks the buffy eyebrow, that extends beyond the eye. The olive-brown upperparts and breast sides have light flecking. Bill, legs and feet are all dark green. A diagnostic is the white eye-ring (seen in good light). Also look for 3 or 4 'bars' running across the end of the tail. When in breeding plumage, during April and maybe on return to Kenya in August, the head, neck and breast take on more streaks of white. Habits
Green Sandpipers are usually solitary birds, often seen bobbing up and down. When in low, zig-zagging snipe-like flight, listen for the call "chu~WEET~whit~whit". Diet
Green Sandpipers eat insects, larvae, snails and worms. Resident
Green Sandpipers are palaeartic migrants, resident in Kenya between August to April. Seen in all the Rift lakes and major rivers, as well as smaller freshwater streams in central and west Kenya, down to coastal creeks. Extra Green Sandpiper Facts
Green Sandpipers fly as far north as the Artic tundras in May, to breed. Unlike most other Sandpipers, they nest in trees. Photographs
Photographed at Kenya's Olare Orok Conservancy.