[order] Charadriiformes | [family] Scolopacidae | [latin] Calidris minuta | [UK] Little Stint | [FR] Bécasseau minute | [DE] Zwergstrandläufer | [ES] Correlimos Menudo | [IT] Gambecchio comune | [NL] Kleine Strandloper

Kleine Strandloper determination

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Tiny, stint with short bill, feathers of upperparts have dark brown cintres and pale rufous fringes or tips. Mantle with yellowish edges forming distinct "V". Head, neck and breast rufous buff with brown streaks, rest of underparts, throat and chin white. Female averages larger. Non-breeding adult has brownish grey upperparts mottled dark and fringed pale, crown gey, streaked dark, eyestripe and sides of breast dull grey, rest of face and underparts white.

Tundra, chiefly on dry ground, often among dwarf willows, near swampy areas or salt marshes. On migration found at small inland waters and riverbanks, or coastal, on mudflats and seashore. In winter quarters mainly coastal, at estuarine mudflats, enclosed lagoons, tidal creeks, also at inland fresh waters.

Calidris minuta breeds in the arctic north of Norway and Russia, with Europe accounting for less than half of its global breeding range. Although estimates of its European breeding population vary widely, it is probably relatively large (as many as 460,000 pairs), and was stable between 1970-1990. Although there were fluctuations in Norway during 1990-2000, the stronghold population in Russia was stable, and the species probably remained stable overall.

Feeds by rapid pecking actions, sometimes probes. Detects prey by sight. Gregarious, in small to large flocks, sometimes up to several thousand birds, and sometimes defends feeding territory.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 100,000-1,000,000 km². It has a large global population estimated to be 1,400,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2002). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

Bredding in June-July. Monogamous, polygynous or polyandrous. Little or no fidelity to breeding site. Nest on ground, exposed, but sometimes covered by vegetation, and lined with leaves and pieces of grass. 4 eggs, incubation 21 days, by both parents, but in cases of polygamy by male or female only. Polyandrous females may incubate a second clutch. Chick orange to tawny, mottled above with black bands and dense rows of white or pale down tips, white underparts. Chic care by one parent.

Migratory; in broad front across much of W Palearctic; movements S-SW in Jul-Nov, birds returning mid-May to early Jun. Juveniles probably migrate farther W than adults, due to weather displacement. Finnish and Swedish population crosses C Europe, Italy, Mediterranean, France and Tunisia; also major routes between C Mediterranean and Black Sea, and via Caspian Sea and Kazakhstan lakes to and from E & S Africa, apparently following route via Rift Valley lakes; W & C Siberian breeders presumably winter in India, passing through Kazakhstan and also N through Mongolia and Tuva. In Britain, commoner in autumn than in spring, with few birds passing winter. Small numbers may migrate along E Asian coasts, including Hong Kong and Philippines. Many immatures remain S all year. Typical migrating flocks comprise 20-30 birds.