Dunlin: Medium-sized sandpiper with black-streaked, red-brown upperparts, conspicuous black belly patch, and streaked breast. The black bill is long and slightly decurved. Legs and feet are black. Wades in shallows and uses bill to probe and pick up food. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Range and Habitat
Dunlin: Breeds from western and northern Alaska east to Hudson Bay. Spends winters along coasts from southern Alaska and Massachusetts southward; also in Eurasia. Nests on tundra and winters on beaches, mudflats, sand flats, inland lakes, and river shores.
Dunlin flocks are often huge, and are most impressive when they display their coordinated aerial maneuvers trying to escape predation by Peregrine Falcons and Merlins.
Hybrids between this species and the White-rumped Sandpiper as well as with the Purple Sandpiper have been reported from the Atlantic coasts of North America and Europe.
A group of dunlins are collectively known as a "flight", "fling", and "trip" of dunlins.
The Dunlin has a large range, estimated globally at 1,000,000 to 10,000,000 square kilometers. It is native to the nations of Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America but has been spotted in parts of Australia and Central America. This bird prefers wetland and marine ecosystems, though it has been known to reside in pastureland and wastewater treatment areas. The global population of this bird is estimated at 4,200,000 to 6,400,000 individuals and it does not appear to meet population size or decline criteria that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. The current evaluation status of the Dunlin is Least Concern.