Dunlin in nonbreeding plumageDunlin in nonbreeding plumage – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

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.

Dunlin in breeding plumageDunlin in breeding plumage – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 160, Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 300mm, natural light

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!

Mia

*I am away for awhile so I have prescheduled this post. Please feel free to share it with your friends & family.