Calidris

Calidris is a genus of Arctic-breeding, strongly migratory wading birds. The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-coloured waterside birds.[1]

This genus is closely related to other calidrids.

These birds form huge mixed flocks on coasts and estuaries in winter. They are the typical "sandpipers", small to medium-sized, long-winged and relatively short-billed.

Their bills have sensitive tips which contain numerous corpuscles of Herbst. This enables the birds to locate buried prey items, which they typically seek with restless running and probing.[2]

Calidris
Calidris-canutus
Red knot, Calidris canutus.
Calidris s.str. are stout birds with bold pattern in breeding plumage
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Scolopacidae
Genus: Calidris
Merrem, 1804

Species in taxonomic order

The species, according to the 2015 I.O.C. assessment,[3] are as follows:

References

  1. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 84. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  2. ^ Nebel, S.; Jackson, D.L.; Elner, R.W. (2005). "Functional association of bill morphology and foraging behaviour in calidrid sandpipers" (PDF). Animal Biology. 55 (3): 235–243. doi:10.1163/1570756054472818. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-10. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  3. ^ "buttonquail". International Ornithological Congress. Retrieved 2015-01-08.
Baird's sandpiper

The Baird's sandpiper (Calidris bairdii) is a small shorebird. It is among those calidrids which were formerly included in the genus Erolia, which was subsumed into the genus Calidris in 1973. The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-coloured waterside birds. The English name and specific bairdii commemorate Spencer Fullerton Baird, 19th-century naturalist and assistant secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

Broad-billed sandpiper

The broad-billed sandpiper (Calidris falcinellus) is a small wading bird. The scientific name is from Latin. The specific name falcinella is from falx, falcis, "a sickle. Some research suggests that it should rather go into the genus Philomachus.

Buff-breasted sandpiper

The buff-breasted sandpiper (Calidris subruficollis) is a small shorebird. The species name subruficollis is from Latin subrufus, "reddish" (from sub, "somewhat", and rufus, "rufous") and collis, "-necked/-throated" (from collum, "neck"). It is a calidrid sandpiper.

Curlew sandpiper

The curlew sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea) is a small wader that breeds on the tundra of Arctic Siberia. The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-coloured waterside birds. The specific ferruginea is from Latin ferrugo, ferruginis, "iron rust" referring to its colour in breeding plumage.It is strongly migratory, wintering mainly in Africa, but also in south and southeast Asia and in Australia and New Zealand. It is a vagrant to North America.

Dunlin

The dunlin (Calidris alpina) is a small wader, sometimes separated with the other "stints" in Erolia. The English name is a dialect form of "dunling", first recorded in 1531–2. It derives from dun, "dull brown", with the suffix -ling, meaning a person or thing with the given quality. The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-coloured waterside birds. The specific alpina is from Latin and means "of high mountains", in this case referring to the Alps.It is a circumpolar breeder in Arctic or subarctic regions. Birds that breed in northern Europe and Asia are long-distance migrants, wintering south to Africa, southeast Asia and the Middle East. Birds that breed in Alaska and the Canadian Arctic migrate short distances to the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of North America, although those nesting in northern Alaska overwinter in Asia. Many dunlins winter along the Iberian south coast.

Great knot

The great knot (Calidris tenuirostris) is a small wader. It is the largest of the calidrid species. The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-coloured waterside birds. The specific tenuirostris is from Latin tenuis "slender" and rostrum "bill".

Least sandpiper

The least sandpiper (Calidris minutilla) is the smallest shorebird. The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-coloured waterside birds. The specific minutilla is Medieval Latin for "very small".

Little stint

The little stint (Calidris minuta) (or Erolia minuta), is a very small wader. It breeds in arctic Europe and Asia, and is a long-distance migrant, wintering south to Africa and south Asia. It occasionally is a vagrant to North America and to Australia. The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-coloured waterside birds. The specific minuta is Latin for "small.

Long-toed stint

The long-toed stint, Calidris subminuta, is a small wader. The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-coloured waterside birds. The specific subminuta is from Latin sub, "near to" and minuta, "small" from its similarity to the little stint, Calidris minuta.It breeds across northern Asia and is strongly migratory, wintering in south and south east Asia and Australasia. It occurs in western Europe only as a very rare vagrant.

This bird has yellowish legs and a short thin dark bill. Breeding adults are a rich brown with darker feather centres above and white underneath. They have a light line above the eye and a brown crown. In winter, long-toed stints are grey above. The juveniles are brightly patterned above with rufous colouration and white mantle stripes.

This bird can be difficult to distinguish from other similar tiny waders which are known collectively as "peeps" or "stints". In particular, the long-toed stint is very similar to its North American counterpart, the least sandpiper. It differs from that species in its more slender, longer-necked appearance, longer toes, somewhat brighter colours, and weaker wingbar.

These birds forage on mudflats, picking up food by sight, sometimes by probing. They mainly eat small crustaceans, insects and snails. Little is known of the breeding habits of this species, although it nests on the ground, and the male has a display flight.

Pectoral sandpiper

The pectoral sandpiper (Calidris melanotos) is a small, migratory wader that breeds in North America and Asia, wintering in South America and Oceania. It eats small invertebrates. Its nest, a hole scraped in the ground and with a thick lining, is deep enough to protect its four eggs from the cool breezes of its breeding grounds. The pectoral sandpiper is 21 cm (8.3 in) long, with a wingspan of 46 cm (18 in).

Purple sandpiper

The purple sandpiper (Calidris maritima) is a small shorebird. The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-coloured waterside birds. The specific maritima is from Latin and means "of the sea", from mare, "sea".

Red-necked stint

The red-necked stint (Calidris ruficollis) is a small migratory wader. The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-coloured waterside birds. The specific ruficollis is from Latin rufus, "red" and collum, "neck".

Red knot

The red knot (Calidris canutus) (just knot in English-speaking Europe) is a medium-sized shorebird which breeds in tundra and the Arctic Cordillera in the far north of Canada, Europe, and Russia. It is a large member of the Calidris sandpipers, second only to the great knot. Six subspecies are recognised.

Their diet varies according to season; arthropods and larvae are the preferred food items at the breeding grounds, while various hard-shelled molluscs are consumed at other feeding sites at other times. North American breeders migrate to coastal areas in Europe and South America, while the Eurasian populations winter in Africa, Papua New Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand. This species forms enormous flocks when not breeding.

Sanderling

The sanderling (Calidris alba) is a small wading bird. The name derives from Old English sand-yrðling, "sand-ploughman". The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-coloured waterside birds. The specific alba is Latin for "white".It is a circumpolar Arctic breeder, and is a long-distance migrant, wintering south to South America, South Europe, Africa, and Australia. It is highly gregarious in winter, sometimes forming large flocks on coastal mudflats or sandy beaches.

It is somewhat unlike other sandpipers in appearance, which has led to the suggestion that it should be placed into a monotypic genus Crocethia. A more recent review (Thomas et al., 2004) indicates, however, that the sanderling is a fairly typical "stint" or small sandpiper and should be separated from the large knots with its closest relatives in a distinct genus.

This bird is similar in size to a dunlin, but stouter, with a thick bill. It shows a strong white wingbar in flight, and runs along the sandy beaches it prefers with a characteristic "bicycling" action of its legs, stopping frequently to pick small food items. It eats small crabs and other small invertebrates. In spring, birds migrating north from South America consume large numbers of horseshoe crab eggs in the Delaware Bay area.

In spring, the birds arrive on the High Arctic breeding grounds (see map), where they lay 3–4 eggs in a ground scrape. On the nesting grounds, these birds mainly eat insects and some plant material.

The sanderling was described by the German naturalist Peter Simon Pallas in 1764 and given the binomial name Trynga alba.The sanderling is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

Semipalmated sandpiper

The semipalmated sandpiper (Calidris pusilla) is a very small shorebird. The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-coloured waterside birds. The specific pusilla is Latin for "very small".It is sometimes separated with other "stints" in Erolia, but, although these apparently form a monophyletic group, the present species' old genus Ereunetes had been proposed before Erolia.

Sharp-tailed sandpiper

The sharp-tailed sandpiper (Calidris acuminata) (but see below) is a small wader.

Stilt sandpiper

The stilt sandpiper (Calidris himantopus or Micropalama himantopus) is a small shorebird. The scientific name is from Ancient Greek. The genus name kalidris or skalidris is a term used by Aristotle for some grey-coloured waterside birds. The specific himantopus means "strap foot" or "thong foot".This sandpiper bears some resemblance to the smaller calidrid sandpipers or "stints". DNA sequence information is incapable of determining whether it should be placed in Calidris or in the monotypic genus Micropalama. It appears most closely allied with the curlew sandpiper, which is another aberrant species only tentatively placed in Calidris and could conceivably be separated with it in Erolia.

The stilt sandpiper breeds in the open arctic tundra of North America. It is a long-distance migrant, wintering mainly in northern South America. It occurs as a rare vagrant in western Europe, Japan and northern Australia.This species nests on the ground, laying three or four eggs. The male has a display flight. Outside the breeding season, this bird is normally found on inland waters, rather than open coasts.

This species resembles the curlew sandpiper in its curved bill, long neck, pale supercilium and white rump. It is readily distinguished from that species by its much longer and paler legs, which give rise to its common and scientific names. It also lacks an obvious wing bar in flight.

Breeding adults are distinctive, heavily barred beneath, and with reddish patches above and below the supercilium. The back is brown with darker feather centres. Winter plumage is basically gray above and white below.

Juvenile stilt sandpipers resemble the adults in their strong head pattern and brownish back, but they are not barred below, and show white fringes on the back feathering.

These birds forage on muddy, picking up food by sight, often jabbing like the dowitchers with which they often associate. They mainly eat insects and other invertebrates.

Temminck's stint

Temminck's stint (Calidris temminckii) is a small wader. This bird's common name and Latin binomial commemorate the Dutch naturalist Coenraad Jacob Temminck. The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-coloured waterside birds.Temminck's stint is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

Western sandpiper

The western sandpiper (Calidris mauri) is a small shorebird. The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-coloured waterside birds. The specific mauri commemorates Italian botanist Ernesto Mauri (1791–1836).Adults have dark legs and a short, thin, dark bill, thinner at the tip. The body is brown on top and white underneath. They are reddish-brown on the crown. This bird can be difficult to distinguish from other similar tiny shorebirds, especially the semipalmated sandpiper. This is particularly the case in winter plumage, when both species are plain gray. The western sandpiper acquires winter plumage much earlier in the autumn than the semipalmated sandpiper.

Their breeding habitat is tundra in eastern Siberia and Alaska. They nest on the ground usually under some vegetation. The male makes several scrapes; the female selects one and lays 4 eggs. Both parents incubate and care for dependent young, who feed themselves. Sometimes the female deserts her mate and brood prior to offspring fledging.

They migrate to both coasts of North America and South America. It is a very rare vagrant to western Europe.

These birds forage on mudflats during migration and the non-breeding season by probing or picking up food by sight. Foraging occurs on tundra and wet meadows during the breeding season. They mainly eat insects, small crustaceans, and mollusks.

This is one of the most abundant shorebird species in North America with a population in the millions.

White-rumped sandpiper

The white-rumped sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis) is a small shorebird that breeds in the northern tundra of Canada and Alaska. This bird can be difficult to distinguish from other similar tiny shorebirds; these are known collectively as "peeps" or "stints".

These birds are not often spotted. In the summer, they are rarely seen because they are in such an obscure breeding location. Similarly, in the winter they are rarely seen because they travel too far south for many birdwatchers. Therefore, the majority of sightings occur during the spring or fall in temperate regions and are generally in small numbers around water.

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