Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Dunlin (Calidris alpina)


The Dunlin has a length of 18 cm and weighs between 40-50 g. It is the most common small wader in winter. Have some individual differences in size, and even have a bill curved. In the summer, The Dunlin has a black belly making it distinctive from other wader birds. The Dunlins’ winter plumage is like that of Sandpiper’s, but the Dunlin has a shorter bill, bigger eyes, grey streaks on the breast, and a contrast of grey on their back. Large numbers of Dunlins’ can often be seen swirling in synchronised flight on stop-overs during migration or on their winter habitat.


The Dunlin live in moorland, and saltmarshes in the summer, and change to mudflats, saltmarshes and sometimes large flocks in the winter.


The Dunlin feed on primarily invertebrates, and some seeds.

Protection Status 

This species is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

Interesting facts

The feeding method of the Dunlin can appear to look like the characteristic of a ‘sewing machine’, picking food along the coastal mudflat beaches.

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