Dunlin

Calidris alpina
Look for large flocks of dunlin on refuge beaches during the fall, winter and spring/Photo Courtesy of Dr. Madeline Kalbach
Dunlins gather in very large flocks on our sandy beaches during fall, winter and spring months. Watch them probe the mud or sand with its longish, slightly downturned bill in search of mollusks, worms and crustaceans. Their aerial maneuvers are impressive as they wheel and turn in unison over the ocean.  Look for the presence of a merlin or Peregrine falcon on the beach or in the air when this flight display begins because the flock maybe trying to escape the claws of one of these raptors. The male wears a prominent black belly patch in spring as it prepares to fly north to the arctic to breed. Learn more about dunlin...

Facts About Dunlin

Have black bill, legs and feet

Compact body and pointed wings are built for speed and distance