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  • Pseudeos fuscata
  • Parrots & Parakeets
Downy Woodpecker

About the Dunlin

Also known as: Red-backed Sandpiper

The Dunlin is a medium-sized sandpiper (also known as a shorebird, or a wader) that lives across much of the northern hemisphere. They are common shorebirds for many birders around the world. Like many other wading birds, they display different plumage in breeding season versus winter.

Our cute Birdorable Dunlin is shown here in full breeding plumage, including the conspicuous black belly patch.

Dunlins are gregarious outside of breeding season, and will form large flocks on coastal mudlfats or beaches. They feed on insects, mollusks, worms and crustaceans.

There are several collective nouns for Dunlin, including flight, trip, or fling, as in "I saw a large fling of Dunlin."

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 05 May 2010
Scientific Name Calidris alpina
  • Charadriiformes
  • Scolopacidae
  • Calidris
  • C. alpina
Birdorable Family Plovers & Shorebirds
Conservation Status Least Concern
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 15 July 2017)
Units: Imperial Metric
8.5 inches
17 inches
2.1 ounces
Range West Europe East Europe North Europe South Europe West Asia Central Asia East Asia Southeast Asia South Asia North Africa West Africa Central Africa East Africa North America Central America United States (West) United States (East)

International Names

  • jespák obecný (Czech)
  • Almindelig Ryle (Danish)
  • Bonte Strandloper (Dutch)
  • suosirri (Finnish)
  • Bécasseau variable (French)
  • Alpenstrandläufer (German)
  • Piovanello pancianera (Italian)
  • ハマシギ (hamashigi) (Japanese)
  • 민물도요 (Korean)
  • Myrsnipe (Norwegian)
  • biegus zmienny (Polish)
  • Чернозобик (Russian)
  • Correlimos Común (Spanish)
  • Kärrsnäppa (Swedish)