Elegant wader with a long fine bill and long reddish legs (dark on breeding adults). Striking breeding plumage dark overall. Nonbreeding plumage is paler and grayer than smaller and chunkier Common Redshank. In flight often appears dark overall with narrow white oval up middle of back. Breeds in arctic bogs and swamps; migrants occur in varied wetland habitats. Usually seen as singles or small groups, though will sometimes congregate in large flocks, especially on wintering grounds. Feeds mainly by wading in fairly deep water, probing and picking with its bill, at times swimming.