Grey-tailed Tattler

Scientific Name: Tringa brevipes
Malay Name: Kedidi-Kacau Asia
Chinese Name: 灰尾漂鹬

Breeds in northern Siberia, winters south through the Malay Peninsula, Phillippines, and coastal Indonesia and Australia.


Size: 24-27 cm

A rather stockily-built sandpiper; in breeding plumage (which is sometimes retained until October or even later), shows grey upperparts, underparts white with wide, thin chevron-shaped markings across breast, flank and vent. In non-breeding plumage, white throat and brownish-grey wash over breast and upper belly; rest of underparts clean white. Differentiated from other similar species by combination of short yellow legs (compared to Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Marsh Sandpiper, and all other Tringa sandpipers except Nordmann's Greenshank, which have longer legs); short, blunt-tipped bill (compared to Terek Sandpiper and much rarer Nordmann's Greenshank, which have upturned bills).

Similar looking species: Terek Sandpiper, Common Redshank, Nordmann’s Greenshank, Common Sandpiper

Habitat: Intertidal mudflats, mangroves, occasionally inland wetlands.

Behaviour/Ecology: Often associates with other waders — in the past, has been recorded with Common Redshanks at Sungei Buloh.

Local Status: Rare migrant

Conservation Status: Near Threatened (BirdLife International 2016)

Location: Suitable habitat, such as Chek Jawa, Sungei Buloh, Pulau Tekong, and Yishun Dam. Has not been recorded at Sungei Buloh since 2016; most recent local record was a single bird at Chek Jawa in Jan 2019.


External Links:
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List Page
Photos: Oriental Bird Images
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link

BirdLife International. (2016). Tringa brevipes. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. Downloaded on 2 September 2021
Robson, C. (2008). A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia. New Holland Publishers.
Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P., Kirwan, G. M., and Sharpe, C. J. (2020). Gray-tailed Tattler (Tringa brevipes), Version 1.0 in del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D. A., & de Juana, E. (Eds.), Birds of the World. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.