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Home > Science > Dunlin - Arctic Wildlife Series

Dunlin - Arctic Wildlife Series

This page tells about the Dunlin. It is part of our water birds series.


Measuring about 8 inches in length, the breeding Dunlin has a sand-colored cap, brown wings with black streaks, reddish back, white face, throat, and sides with fine black streaks, and a black belly. The legs are black. The bill is long, black, and slightly downcurved. The non-breeding Dunlin is dull brown above and white below. Males and females are similar.


Insects, aquatic invertebrates.

Range and Habitat

The Dunlin breeds in northern Alaska, Canada, and Eurasia. During migration, it can be found throughout Canada and the United States. In winter, the Dunlin is found along both coasts, the west coast of Mexico, and along the coasts of Europe, Asia, and west Africa.

The Dunlin breeds on coastal tundra but is found in estuaries, mudflats, beachfronts, marshes, lakes, and ponds during migration and in the winter.


The Dunlin is common.


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