© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki. Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.

Broad-billed Sandpiper

Calidris falcinellus

  • Latin synonym: Limicola falcinellus
  • Family: Sandpipers – Scolopacidae
  • Appearance: Resembles a young Dunlin, but smaller with shorter and paler legs. Bill broad at base, with slight downcurving at the tip. Has a dark stripe in the middle of its cap, and two pale parallel eye stripes.
  • Size: Length 15–18 cm, wingspan 34–37 cm, weight 32–34 g.
  • Nest: In a small hollow in a hummock on a quagmire, usually well concealed, lined with grass, moss and leaves.
  • Breeding: 4 eggs laid in June, incubated by both parents for 21–22 days. Fledglings leave the nest soon after hatching and quickly learn to find food for themselves. It is not known how soon they learn to fly.
  • Distribution: Breeds in quagmires in the palsa and aapa mires of Finnish Lapland and other northern regions. Finnish breeding population estimated at 25,000–35,000 pairs.
  • Migration: Nocturnal. Leaves Finland between July and September, returning in late May and early June. Winters in East Africa.
  • Diet: Invertebrates. Foraging behaviour more leisurely than feeding Dunlins.
  • Calls: A dry, whistling “dree-it, dree-it” and a clicking “dik dik”.
  • Endangerment: Near threatened, protected. Globally Least concern.

Broad-billed Sandpipers resemble juvenile Dunlins, but have streaks on their dark upper parts more similar to the markings on Snipes (in flight not unlike the V-shaped markings on Little Stints) and a striped cap. Their bills are long with a downturned tip. Adults have many dark speckles on their necks and breasts, and white bellies.

Juveniles generally resemble adults but are duller in colouring, with rusty brown edges to their back feathers and only faint streaking on their underparts. Broad-billed Sandpipers’ legs are dark grey (mature birds) or greenish grey (immature birds). Their bills are brown with a black tip in spring, but in autumn totally (mature birds) or black with a reddish base (immature birds). Their irises are dark brown.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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