Dunlin | Calidris alpina

Roberts Birding Information: Dunlin

The Dunlin is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Scolopacidae bird family group which includes birds such as Snipes, Godwits, Curlews, Whimbrels, Shanks, Stints, Sandpipers, Ruff, Turnstones, Phalaropes.

The description for the Dunlin (Latin name Calidris alpina) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Calidris alpina can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 273 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 372. You will find a picture of the Dunlin on page 369.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Dunlin between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Dunlin has a height of 19 cms and weighs around 60 gms. The head is coloured chestnut while the bill is coloured black. The Calidris alpina has a white coloured throat, black legs and a chestnut coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Calidris alpina has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is chestnut.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is black.

Legs are black.

Throat is white.

Back is chestnut.

Dunlin Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

Dunlin Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

You can see the Dunlin bird on coastal regions and on the sea shore where the bird will be foraging with other birds.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks.