Red-necked Stint Aaron Maizlish/Flickr

Red-necked Stint

Calidris ruficollis

Did You Know?

  • During studies on waders, two juvenile Red-necked Stints aged only 44 and 50 days were found about 2000 km from their breeding grounds.
FactBox Image

Tiny, plain grey-brown and whitish wader with black legs and straight, gently tapering black bill, slightly swollen at tip. Shadowy dark line from bill through eye separates small white area over bill and subtle whitish eyebrow from whitish throat. Upperparts are grey-brown. Underparts are whitish with grey-brown zone on sides of upperbreast.

Size

13 – 16 cm

Behaviour

Call

A weak chit chit or quick high pitched trill.

Diet

They forage on intertidal, near-coastal and inland wetlands. In tidal environments, 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. Red-necked Stints are omnivorous, taking seeds, insects, small vertebrates, plants in saltmarshes, molluscs, gastropods and crustaceans.

Flight

Flocks frequently burst into flight, swift on long wings with the white under-surfaces flashing against the sea or sky.

Breeding

The Red-necked Stint breeds in north-eastern Siberia and northern and western Alaska. It follows the East Asian-Australasian Flyway to spend the southern summer months in Australia.

Species: WhatToObserve Image

What to Observe

  • Calling

  • Feeding

  • Presence (to help establish first and last sightings for a season enter a record any time you see Red-necked Stints)

Species: WhenAndWhere Image

When and Where

When To Look

They arrive in Australia from late August to September and leave from early March to mid-April. Some first-year birds may remain in Australia.

Where To Look

  • In Australia, Red-necked Stints are found on the coast, in sheltered inlets, bays, lagoons, estuaries, intertidal mudflats and protected sandy or coralline shores
  • 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
Species: WhatElse Image

Similar Species

The Little Stint (Calidris minuta) is very similar in size, shape and plumage. However the Little Stint has longer legs, is dumpier and has a blunter rear end at rest. They also have a different call. The Little Stint is rarely encountered in Australia.

The Broad-billed Sandpiper (Limicola falcinellus) is larger and has a longer, differently shaped bill.