Bird of the Week – Dunlin

The Dunlin is larger than most sandpipers but at 8.5 inches, still pretty small. It’s understandable if you don’t recognize it. Dunlin has two very different plumages. In the winter it’s a drab grey bird. In the summer, in breeding plumage, it’s a striking rusty-backed, black-bellied fellow.

Dunlin, Old Chevak, Yukon Delta

Dunlin, Old Chevak, Yukon Delta

During courtship season, on the edge of western and northern Alaska, it can be hard to sleep for the incessant courtship song, a rolling harsh trill that sounds something like jrrre jrrre jrrreijijiji jrrr jrrr jrrr. Dunlin males are extremely enthusiastic about their courtship song.

WC has used the alarm display of Dunlin on the home page of the Wickersham’s Conscience blog for years.

The official spokesbird of Wickersham's Conscience

The official spokesbird of Wickersham’s Conscience

It’s time to give credit.

For more bird photos, please visit Frozen Feather Images.