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."

Dunlin Find cute products & gifts with our Birdorable Dunlin
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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 05 May 2010
Scientific Name
Calidris alpina
  • Charadriiformes
  • Scolopacidae
  • Calidris
  • C. alpina
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Least Concern (as of 20 March 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
8.5 inches
17 inches
2.1 ounces


International Names

Czech (Cesky) jespák obecný
Danish (Dansk) Almindelig Ryle
Dutch (Nederlands) Bonte Strandloper
Finnish (Suomi) suosirri
French (Français) Bécasseau variable
German (Deutsch) Alpenstrandläufer
Italian (Italiano) Piovanello pancianera
Japanese (日本語) ハマシギ (hamashigi)
Korean (한국어) 민물도요
Norwegian (Norsk) Myrsnipe
Polish (Polski) biegus zmienny
Russian (русский язык) Чернозобик
Spanish (Español) Correlimos Común
Swedish (Svenska) Kärrsnäppa
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