/dun"lin/, n.
a common sandpiper, Calidris alpina, that breeds in the northern parts of the Northern Hemisphere.
[1525-35; var. of dunling. See DUN2, -LING1]

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also called  red-backed sandpiper  

      one of the most common and sociable birds (bird) of the sandpiper group. The dunlin is a member of the family Scolopacidae (order Charadriiformes (charadriiform)). It is about 20 cm (8 inches) long and has a bill curved downward at the tip. In breeding season, its plumage is brightly coloured, with its belly black and its back reddish (or dun-coloured, hence the name). In the winter the plumage is dull gray above and white below.

      A short-distance migrant, it is a circumpolar breeder in the Arctic and sub-Arctic, favouring wet tundra around the North Pole and also in the British Isles and the Baltic region. The dunlin winters in great numbers on seacoasts, particularly at locations such as tidal flats, sand beaches, and rocky shores. It eats mainly insects (insect) on the tundra and worms (worm), snails (snail), and crustaceans (crustacean) on the wintering grounds, where it probes the mud with its bill in a rapid “stitching” motion.

      In his display flight, the male circles over his breeding territory, fluttering and singing. Shallow scrape nests lined with leaves and grass are concealed in hummocks. A few days after the three to four downy young hatch, the female departs, leaving them to the care of the male. Both sexes are accomplished fliers; large flocks impressively twist and bank in unison.

Sy Montgomery

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dunlin — Breeding adult Conservation status …   Wikipedia

  • dunlin — [dun′lin] n. pl. dunlins or dunlin [< dunling < DUN1 + LING1] a small sandpiper (Calidris alpina) with breeding plumage marked by a reddish back, a black patch on the belly, and a striped breast …   English World dictionary

  • Dunlin — Dun lin, n. [Prob. of Celtic origin; cf. Gael. dun hill (E. dune), and linne pool, pond, lake, E. lin.] (Zo[ o]l.) A species of sandpiper ({Tringa alpina}); called also {churr}, {dorbie}, {grass bird}, and {red backed sandpiper}. It is found both …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dunlin — ► NOUN (pl. same or dunlins) ▪ a sandpiper with a downcurved bill and (in winter) greyish brown upper parts. ORIGIN probably from DUN(Cf. ↑dun) + LING(Cf. ↑ ling) …   English terms dictionary

  • dunlin — noun (plural dunlins or dunlin) Etymology: 1dun + lin (alteration of ling) Date: circa 1532 a small widely distributed sandpiper (Calidris alpina) largely cinnamon to rusty brown above and white below …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Dunlin — juodakrūtis bėgikas statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Calidris alpina angl. Dunlin vok. Alpenstrandläufer …   Paukščių anatomijos terminai

  • dunlin — juodakrūtis bėgikas statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Calidris alpina; Pelidna alpina angl. dunlin vok. Alpenstrandläufer, m rus. чернозобик, m pranc. bécasseau variable, m ryšiai: platesnis terminas – tikrieji bėgikai …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • dunlin — noun A small wading bird, Calidris alpina, found along the coast and with a distinctive black belly patch in its breeding plumage. A type of stint …   Wiktionary

  • dunlin — n. type of sociable sandpiper bird …   English contemporary dictionary

  • dunlin — [ dʌnlɪn] noun (plural same or dunlins) a common migratory sandpiper with a downcurved bill and (in winter) greyish brown upper parts. [Calidris alpina.] Origin C16: prob. from dun1 + ling …   English new terms dictionary

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