This is a Dunlin (Calidris alpina) in nonbreeding plumage, the image was taken at Fort De Soto’s north beach in Florida during the month of December a few years ago. During the winter Dunlins have dull gray-brown backs and heads with light-colored streaked breasts. These hardy shorebirds winter along coastlines from southern Alaska south to Florida and Mexico.
This image shows a Dunlin in breeding plumage also taken at Fort De Soto’s north beach in May a few years ago about the time this shorebird would start its migration to Arctic and sub-Arctic areas of Alaska where it breeds on the tundra near ponds.
Dunlins exhibit a vast difference between nonbreeding and breeding plumage, so different that a novice birder might mistakenly believe that they were two different species.
This small shorebird’s lifespan can be up to 24 years!
*I am away for awhile so I have prescheduled this post. Please feel free to share it with your friends & family.