Dunlin

photo by Phil Swanson

Calidris alpina
L 8 1/2″ (22 cm).

Song or calls:
Low grating “kerrr.”

Description: Sexes similar. Distinctive breeding plumage of rusty back; black wings; white finely streaked throat, neck, and breast; black belly. Black bill is longer than head and slightly decurved. In winter, shows a dark gray back; light gray breast; and pale underparts. Juveniles are dark brown above; and buff below with streaking on breast and sides.

Bird Map
Habitat: Migrants can be found on mud flats, shallow ponds, and open muddy shorelines.

Where in Nebraska: Occasional spring migrant in eastern part of state, becoming rarer in western Nebraska. Rarely seen during fall migration.

Field Notes: Often seen in flocks of other small sandpipers.

Fun Facts: The Dunlin travels from its wintering grounds in Central America to their breeding grounds in northern Canada, traveling thousands of miles twice a year.

Dunlin - photo by Phil Swanson Dunlin - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)