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Dunlin - Calidris alpina

DunlinCharacteristics
Range
Habitat
Diet
Life Cycle
Behavior
 Classification

 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Aves
 Order: Charadriiformes 
 Family: Scolopacidae 
 Genus:  Calidris

Dunlin

ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least ConcernLeast Concern
    Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Mike Nelson cc logo
  Characteristics
DunlinThe dunlin is a medium sized shore bird about seven to eight inches in length. It has a long, dark bill with a little downward dip at the end. It has a black patch on its belly and black legs. Its back and wings are reddish-brown and its head and chest are white with brownish specks. In the winter the dunlin is a grayish color. The dunlin used to be known as the red-backed sandpiper.

  Range
mapThe dunlin breeds from western and northern Alaska east to the Hudson Bay. It winters along the coast from southern Alaska and Massachusetts south to Mexico. It is also found in northern Europe and Asia.



  Habitat

The dunlin nests on the tundra and winters on beaches, river and lake shores, mudflats and sandflats.

  Diet
DunlinThe dunlin eats insects and larvae, marine worms, small crustaceans, snails and small fish. Sometimes the dunlin is called the "sewing machine" because of the way it bobs its head up and down and pokes into the ground when it probes for food.

  Life Cycle
The female dunlin lays four eggs. The chicks hatch in 21-22 days and fledge when they are 19-21 days old.

  Behavior
In winter, dunlins will gather in huge flocks. If they are startled, they will all fly off together, turning and flying in unison!

 


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