Dunlin  Calidris  alpine


  • Calidris : Greek word for grey-coloured waterside bird mentioned by Aristotle
  • Alpine : Latin word for “of High mountains”

Vernacular Names: Guj: Kalopet kichadiyo, Hindi: Ruzani Panlowwa, Mar: Jalaranka, Karada Tilawa

Distribution in India: Winter visitor mainly to costs and some inland area in India.

Description: Size of 16–22 cm; wt. of 33–85 g; wingspan of 33–40 cm. It is a smallish, short-necked sandpiper with hunched posture; rufous upperparts and black belly. It has a longish bill noticeably decurved, especially towards tip. The female looks similar but averages larger and longer-billed; often has browner, less contrasting hindneck. The non-breeding adult has plain grey head, breast and upperparts; white chin, throat and lower underparts. The juvenile has pale buff, streaked breast; flanks and sides of white belly have lines of bold brownish spots.

Habitat: It is found during breeding in moist, boggy ground, interspersed with surface water, including tussock tundra and peat-hummock tundra in Arctic, and wet coastal grassland, salt-marshes and wet upland moorland. In non-breeding season, it is found in estuarine mudflats, wide variety of freshwater and brackish wetlands, both coastal and inland, including lagoons, muddy freshwater shores, tidal rivers, flooded fields, sewage farms, and salt-works; sometimes on sandy coasts.

Food habits: During breeding it eats insects, adults and larvae of Diptera, craneflies, beetles, caddisflies, wasps, sawflies and mayflies; also spiders, mites, earthworms, snails, slugs and plant material. In non-breeding season it eats polychaete worms and small gastropods, Insects, crustaceans, bivalves, occasionally small fish and plant matter. It feeds mainly by probing, in quick manner, often interspersed with short runs. It feeds also by “sewing”, lunging and pecking. Most prey are swallowed as bill extracted from mud; worms often washed before being swallowed.When ingesting molluscs, ejects shell fragments by regurgitation. It is diurnal and nocturnal forager.

Breeding habits: They breed in Jun to Jul in Arctic. They are monogamous and solitary. The nest is concealed in vegetation, on top of tussock. The nest is a cup filled with grass and leaves. They lay a clutch of 3-4 eggs, with laying interval 24–36 hours. The incubation period is 20–24 days. Both the sexes incubate and tend the brood, female usually leaving first. The fledging period is 18–24 days.