© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki, M. & W. von Wright: Svenska fåglar (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland). Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.

Little Stint

Calidris minuta

  • Family: Sandpipers – Scolopacidae
  • Appearance: Noticeably smaller than the related Dunlin. Beak short, straight and narrow-tipped. Legs black. Face and chest paler than on other sandpipers except the slightly larger Sanderling.
  • Size: Length 14–15.5 cm, wingspan 27–30 cm, weight 20–30 g.
  • Nest: In a shallow hollow by a seashore, lake or stream, lined with straw.
  • Breeding: 4 eggs laid in June, may be incubated for 20–21 days by both parents, though some females mate with a new male after laying their eggs, and leave the male to incubate the first brood alone. Fledglings leave nest and soon start to find food for themselves, but there is no information available about how soon they learn to fly.
  • Distribution: Nests in tundra regions. Commonly seen along shores and in wetlands in Finland during migration seasons, especially in autumn. Finnish breeding population estimated at 0–5 pairs.
  • Migration: Mainly nocturnal. Passes southwards through Finland July–October, returning in May–June. Winters in Africa and southern Asian.
  • Diet: Invertebrates. Finds food by foraging rapidly along sandy and muddy shores.
  • Calls: A short, click-like “pit”.
  • Endangerment: Critically endangered, protected in Finland. Globally Least concern.

In Little Stints’ summer plumage, the edges of their back feathers, their flanks and their cheeks are rusty red with darker mottling, and their underparts are white. Juveniles’ have pale foreheads and a pale eyebrow strip split into two parts. Juveniles closely resemble Temminck’s Stints. The Little Stint’s best distinguishing features are the white lengthwise stripes on their backs (absent on Temminck’s Stint) and grey colouring on their tail feathers (white on Temminck’s Stint). Their legs, beak and irises are black.

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

Follow us!

Identify species!

Sivun alkuun / Top of the page