Calidris ruficollis

General description: 

The Red-necked Stint is a very common and very small sandpiper. The legs are short and the bill is straight or slightly decurved, with a bulbous tip. In non-breeding plumage, the upper parts are brown and grey-brown, with most feathers pale-edged, giving a mottled effect. There is a pale eye-stripe. The rump and tail are black and the outer tail-feathers and sides of rump white. There is a pale wing-stripe in flight. The underparts are white with some grey on the sides of the breast. Eyes are dark brown; bill and legs black. In breeding plumage, the colouring changes, with deep salmon-pink on head and nape suffusing into pink on the mantle and wing-coverts. Immature birds are similar to non-breeding adults but browner and the crown is dull rufous. This species is also known as Rufous-necked Stint, Redneck or Little Sandpiper, Land Snipe, Little Stint, Eastern Little Stint, Least Sandpiper. Voice: Calls include: 'prip' contact call and alarm 'chit'.

Conservation status: 

Not Threatened.

Diagnostic description: 

The Red-necked Stint is a very common and very small sandpiper. The legs are short and the bill is straight or slightly decurved, with a bulbous tip. In non-breeding plumage, the upper parts are brown and grey-brown, with most feathers pale-edged, giving a mottled effect. There is a pale eye-stripe. The rump and tail are black and the outer tail-feathers and sides of rump white. There is a pale wing-stripe in flight. The underparts are white with some grey on the sides of the breast. Eyes are dark brown; bill and legs black. In breeding plumage, the colouring changes, with deep salmon-pink on head and nape suffusing into pink on the mantle and wing-coverts. Immature birds are similar to non-breeding adults but browner and the crown is dull rufous. This species is also known as Rufous-necked Stint, Redneck or Little Sandpiper, Land Snipe, Little Stint, Eastern Little Stint, Least Sandpiper. Voice: Calls include: 'prip' contact call and alarm 'chit'.

Behaviour: 

Size: 

13-16 cm, 27 g

Phylogeny: 

Taxonomy:

    Trynga [sic] ruficollis Pallas, 1776, Kulussutai, southern Transbaikalia. Formerly placed in genus Erolia. May form superspecies with C. minuta. Monotypic. (source: Handbook of the Birds of World)
Distribution: 

Distribution:

    C & E Taymyr; Kharaulakh Mts and area around Lena Delta; R Kolyma to Chukotskiy Peninsula and S to extreme N Kamchatka; sporadically W & N Alaska. Winters in SE Asia, from E India, Myanmar, S China and Taiwan through Philippines and Indonesia to Solomon Is, Australia and New Zealand.
Habitat: 

In Australia, Red-necked Stints are found on the coast, in sheltered inlets, bays, lagoons, estuaries, intertidal mudflats and protected sandy or coralline shores. They may also be seen in saltworks, sewage farms, saltmarsh, shallow wetlands including lakes, swamps, riverbanks, waterholes, bore drains, dams, soaks and pools in saltflats, flooded paddocks or damp grasslands. They are often in dense flocks, feeding or roosting.

Trophic strategy: 

Red-necked Stints are omnivorous, taking seeds, insects, small vertebrates, plants in saltmarshes, molluscs, gastopods and crustaceans. They forage on intertidal and near-coastal wetlands. They usually feed for the entire period that mudflats are exposed, often feeding with other species. They forage with a rather hunched posture, picking constantly and rapidly at the muddy surface, then dashing to another spot.

Reproduction: 

Red-necked Stints breed in the Arctic regions, on moist moss-lichen tundra. The nest is a shallow depression lined with leaves or grass. Both parents share incubation and care of the young. Unsuccessful breeders leave for the south in June, breeding females from mid-July, males a little later and juveniles by mid to late August. Breeding season: June to July