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Systematic classification and distribution
Species: T. ochropus Linnaeus, 1758
It does not nest in our latitudes: it preferably occupies the boreal forest belt of Eurasia. In Italy it is easily observed both during the spring migration (between April and May) and during the autumn migration (particularly abundant in August - early September). Even in winter it is present with a certain regularity. And preferably a solitary traveler and migrates, at best, in small and small groups.
Piro-piro culbianco - Tringa ochropus (photo Green Sandpiper)
Piro-piro culbianco - Tringa ochropus (photo www.planetofbirds.com)
Piro-piro culbianco - Tringa ochropus (photo www.tibetbirds.com)
Length: 21 - 24 cm
Wingspan: 61 cm
It has fairly long legs (tibia almost as long as the tarsus), oval body and kept well raised above the ground; moreover, the neck is slender and elegant, the head rather small and a long and thin beak.
It has very dark backs and wings, entirely blackish, uniform and contrasting with the lower parts; during the spring period, however, it may present numerous whitish, inconspicuous spots. The head is very dark, blackish, clearly contrasting with the throat, paler, and with the wide white streak that starts from the base of the beak and forms a mask around the orbits, like a pair of glasses; in this species there is never an eyebrow behind the eye. It has a pale throat trapped inside the dark bib, which covers the chest forming a band well defined by the rest of the white lower parts.
In flight, the wings appear very dark, as much as the body, without any wing bar. The most striking features are the uniform blackish under wing, so that the wings are dark both in the upper and lower part. The rump and tail are white and contrast sharply with the back, a very evident characteristic and which has earned it its name. The tail bears only 2 or 3 black bars. (Other information)
Lastly, the Piro-piro culbianco has a ringing and strong call: tu-hit, tu-hit, tu-hit repeated in an obsessive and excited way when put away from a potential danger; in other circumstances it behaves like a shy bird, inclined to hide and silent.
In the reproductive period it frequents marshy and tree-lined areas near ponds, rivers and lakes with muddy banks, while during migration and in wintering areas it settles in the inland wetlands and freshwater coastal areas, such as river banks and lakes, rotting, rice fields, temporarily flooded areas. Occasionally stop in brackish wetlands and rarely along the sea coasts. It feeds mainly on invertebrates linked to humid or marshy environments or to soft soils rich in organic matter.
The breeding season is between mid-April and June and only one brood in the year. The courtship that precedes the mating sees the Pyro-pyro whitetail performing the so-called jump of the cricket: one of the partners stands behind the other with the fan-shaped tail and the wings raised and then flies over it. The abandoned nest of other bird or squirrel species is often used.