Dunlin, Calidris alpina


Dunlin
Breeding plumage, above, with rufous mantle and scapulars, and large solid black patch on the belly. Below, in mid-molt to breeding plumage.

Dunlin


Western Sandpiper and Dunlin
A Dunlin mostly molted to breeding; upperparts nearly complete and belly patch not quite fully filled
in; accompanied by a breeding-plumage Western Sandpiper, a smaller relative.


Dunlin
The Fall migration of Dunlins is much later than that of other small sandpipers, and they arrive in coastal California fully molted to non-breeding plumage. A profile view, above, shows the long drooping bill; the non-breeding plumage in March has the fringes of the upperpart feathers worn off.


Dunlin
Above, an adult Dunlin with fresh non-breeding plumage in early fall; note the light-colored feather tips on the upperparts. Below, a first-winter bird, with plain gray feathers on the back like adult non-breeding plumage on the back, but boldly fringed juvenal wing coverts and tertials.


Dunlin