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Australian Wildlife

  Dunlin (Calidris alpina)





Dunlin | Calidris alpina photo
Dunlin

Image by S?awomir Staszczuk - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)

Dunlin | Calidris alpina photo
Dunlin - Hillman Marsh (near Point Pelee), Canada

Image by Mdf - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)

Dunlin | Calidris alpina photo
Dunlin

Image by S?awomir Staszczuk - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)

Dunlin | Calidris alpina photo
Dunlin on beach - winter plumage

Image by Shawn Lea - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)



DUNLIN FACTS

Description
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.

Size
18cm - 21cm

Habitat
Breeds in wet coastal tundra. Winters on mudflats, estuaries, marshes, sandy beaches, lake shores

Food
insects, worms, crustaceans

Breeding
The nest is a shallow hollow on the ground lined with vegetation. Lays three or four eggs.

Range
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.



Classification
Class:Aves
Order:Charadriiformes
Family:Scolopacidae
Genus:Calidris
Species:alpina
Common Name:Dunlin

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)