Tattler (bird)

Tattler (bird)

name = Tattlers

image_width = 240px
image_caption = Grey-tailed Tattler ("Tringa brevipes")
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
subclassis = Neornithes
infraclassis = Neognathae
superordo = Neoaves
ordo = Charadriiformes
subordo = Scolopaci
familia = Scolopacidae
genus = "Tringa" ("partim")
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = "Tringa brevipes"
"Tringa incana"
synonyms ="Heteroscelus"

The tattlers are the two very similar bird species in the shorebird genus "Tringa". They formerly had their own genus, "Heteroscelus" [Pereira & Baker (2005), Banks "et al." (2006)] . The old genus name means "different leg" in Greek, referring to the leg scales that differentiate the tattlers from their close relatives, the shanks.

The species are:
* Grey-tailed Tattler, "Tringa brevipes" - formerly "Heteroscelus brevipes"
* Wandering Tattler, "Tringa incana" - formerly "Heteroscelus incanus"

Their breeding habitat is stony riverbeds. They nest on the ground, but these waders will perch in trees and sometimes use old nests of other birds.

They are strongly migratory and winter in the tropics and subtropics on muddy and sandy coasts. These are not particularly gregarious birds and are seldom seen in large flocks except at roosts.

These very similar birds resemble Common Redshanks in shape and size. The upper parts, underwings, face and neck are grey, and the belly is white. They have short yellowish legs and a bill with a pale base and dark tip. There is a weak supercilium.

Differentiation between the two species depends on details like the length of the nasal groove and scaling on the tarsus. The best distinction is the call; Grey-tailed has a disyllabic whistle, and Wandering a rippling trill.

These birds forage on the ground or water, picking up food by sight. They eat insects, crustaceans and other invertebrates.



* (2006): Forty-seventh Supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union Check-list of North American Birds. "Auk" 123(3): 926–936. DOI: 10.1642/0004-8038(2006)123 [926:FSTTAO] 2.0.CO;2 [http://www.aou.org/checklist/Suppl47.pdf PDF fulltext]
* (1986): "Shorebirds: an identification guide to the waders of the world". Houghton Mifflin, Boston. ISBN 0-395-60237-8
* (2005): Multiple Gene Evidence for Parallel Evolution and Retention of Ancestral Morphological States in the Shanks (Charadriiformes: Scolopacidae). "Condor" 107(3): 514–526. DOI: 10.1650/0010-5422(2005)107 [0514:MGEFPE] 2.0.CO;2 [http://individual.utoronto.ca/sergiolp/pdf/Condor2005.pdf PDF fulltext]

External links

* [http://www.itis.usda.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=176634 ITIS/USDA, "Heteroscelus"]

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