Interhabitat Movements of Wintering Dunlins in Western Washington

At four areas in western Washington, wintering Dunlins (Calidris alpina) exhibited a regular pattern of movement (i.e. continuously followed the edge of the receding or incoming water) during 86% of the ebbing tides (N=50) and 50% of the flooding tides (N=24). During diurnal high tides, Dunlins roosted in fields, salt marshes, mudflats, and on log rafts. At two areas, Dunlins remained in constant flight for up to 2 hrs until the tide ebbed. Maximum numbers of Dunlins at two estuaries averaged ca. 2000 birds; two other estuaries supported ca. 13000 and 9000 Dunlins each. At all four areas, the populations of wintering Dunlins appeared to remain relatively stable between December and March. Raptors temporarily disrupted the interhabitat movement patterns of Dunlins.


Brennan, L.A., J.B. Buchanan, S.G. Herman, and T.M. Johnson. 1985. Interhabitat Movements of Wintering Dunlins in Western Washington. Murrelet 66(1): 11-16. doi: 10.2307/3535459