Breed in subarctic North America, Europe (as far south as Scotland) and Asia.
Winter on the coast of Africa, South America, south Asia ranting into Australasia and southern North America.
Measure 15 - 19 inches (37 - 47 cm) in length.
Plumage is mostly brown, except for the white back and rump (in some of the subspecies only).
The bill is long and curved, with a "kink" rather than a smooth curve.