[order] Charadriiformes | [family] Scolopacidae | [latin] Calidris subminuta | [UK] Long-toed Stint | [FR] Bécasseau à longs doigts | [DE] Langzehen-Strandläufer | [ES] Correlimos Dedilargo | [IT] Gambecchio minore | [NL] Taigastrandloper

Taigastrandloper determination

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This bird has yellowish legs and a short thin dark bill. Breeding adults are a rich brown with darker feather centres above and white underneath. They have a light line above the eye and a brown crown. In winter, Long-toed Stints are grey above. The juveniles are brightly patterned above with rufous colouration and white mantle stripes.

The species breeds near pools on open, grassy bogs or swamps or on mountain tundra in boreal forest (taiga) showing a preference for areas with mosses, sedges and dwarf willows Salix spp. for nesting. Outside of the breeding season the species occupies shallow inland wetlands and although it shows no preference over fresh, brackish or saline waters it does require habitats with soft, muddy shorelines and short grass, sedges, floating aquatic vegetation, reeds and rushes. Suitable habitats include the edges of permanent and temporary lakes, ponds, reservoirs, lagoons, swamps and streams, river flood-plains, marshes, rice-fields, sewage ponds, saltpans and saltmarshes. The species also less frequently occurs around tidal estuaries on intertidal mudflats.

This species is strongly migratory and travels largely overland on a broad front between its breeding and wintering grounds. It breeds from early-June to July in solitary pairs, usually well-dispersed but sometimes very close together within wetlands. The departure from the breeding grounds starts in July and peaks between August and September, with the return northward migration peaking between April and May. The species is only mildly gregarious outside of the breeding season and usually forages singly or in small groups of 3-7 individuals although it rarely also occurs in flocks of between 15 and 50 individuals.

Its diet includes insects (e.g. carabid beetles), small gastropod molluscs, crustaceans amphibians and seeds.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 50,000-100,000 km². It has a large global population estimated to be 25,000-100,000 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]

Long-toed Stint: Three to five white brown eggs spotted with red brown are laid in a ground scrape lined with grass and leaves, usually built under a shrub near water. Incubation ranges from 18 to 22 days and is carried out by both parents.

Migratory. Probably two main routes, which converge in China: down E coast of Asia, through Ussuriland, Manchuria, Japan and Korea; and overland on broad front through continental Asia, where locally in Tuva; some indications of weak migration through Middle East. In Australia movements dispersive, between temporary wetlands. Most birds winter in SE Asia and Philippines; very few in Australia, though small numbers visit every year and their moult pattern suggests that they are different to SE Asian birds. S passage of adults, females first, starts early Jul and peaks Aug-Sept; N migration Apr-May. Only mildly gregarious, and seldom in large flocks.