The Dunlin is a small plump wader with long dark bill and fairly long dark legs. In the breeding season it has reddish brown back, black belly, and reddish brown head crown. Outside the breeding season it is mainly grey with white underside. Males and females are similar in appearance. Juvenile birds are darker than the adult non-breeding colours, but paler than the adult breeding colour - they have reddish brown back with more prominent markings, and some dark streaking on the belly.
18cm - 21cm
Breeds in wet coastal tundra. Winters on mudflats, estuaries, marshes, sandy beaches, lake shores
insects, worms, crustaceans
The nest is a shallow hollow on the ground lined with vegetation. Lays three or four eggs.
The Dunlin is a rare vagrant to Australia. It breeds in the Arctic, and migrates in winter to warmer climates such as Africa, southeast Asia, central America.
Map is from Atlas of Living Australia website at http://biocache.ala.org.au licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License
Relatives in same Genus
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (C. acuminata)
Sanderling (C. alba)
Baird's Sandpiper (C. bairdii)
Red Knot (C. canutus)
Curlew Sandpiper (C. ferruginea)
White-rumped Sandpiper (C. fuscicollis)
Pectoral Sandpiper (C. melanotos)
Little Stint (C. minuta)
Long-toed Stint (C. subminuta)
Great Knot (C. tenuirostris)