Little stint

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Little stint
Little Stint (Calidris minuta) (1).jpg
Adult in September
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Scolopacidae
Genus: Calidris
Species: C. minuta
Binomial name
Calidris minuta
(Leisler, 1812)
Synonyms

Erolia minuta

The little stint (Calidris minuta) (or Erolia minuta), is a very small wader. It breeds in arctic Europe and Asia, and is a long-distance migrant, wintering south to Africa and south Asia. It occasionally is a vagrant to North America and to Australia.

Appearance[edit]

Its small size, fine dark bill, dark legs and quicker movements distinguish this species from all waders except the other dark-legged stints. It can be distinguished from these in all plumages by its combination of a fine bill tip, unwebbed toes and long primary projection. The call is a sharp "stit".

Non-breeding adult in Egypt
Flock in Andhra Pradesh, India

The breeding adult has an orange wash to the breast, a white throat and a strong white V on its back. In winter plumage identification is difficult. Juveniles have pale crown stripes and a pinkish breast.

An apparent hybrid between this species and Temminck's stint has been reported from the Netherlands.[2]

Population dynamics[edit]

The numbers of this species (and of curlew sandpiper) depend on the population of lemmings. In poor lemming years, predatory species such as skuas and snowy owls take Arctic-breeding waders instead.

It is gregarious in winter, sometimes forming large flocks with other Calidris waders, particularly dunlin, on coastal mudflats or the edges of inland pools.

The little stint is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

Nesting[edit]

This bird nests on a scrape in bare ground, laying 3–5 eggs. It is polygamous, and male and female may incubate separate clutches.

Food[edit]

Food is small invertebrates picked off the mud.

References[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Calidris minuta". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Jonsson, Lars (1996): Mystery stint at Groote Keeten: First known hybrid between Little and Temminck's Stint? Dutch Birding 18: 24–28.

Further reading[edit]

Identification[edit]

External links[edit]