Broad-billed sandpiper (Limicola falcinellus)

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The broad-billed sandpiper (Limicola falcinellus) is a small wading bird. It is the only member of the genus Limicola.

Broad-billed sandpipers are small waders, slightly smaller than the dunlin, but with a longer straighter bill, and shorter legs. The breeding adult has patterned dark grey upperparts and white underparts with blackish markings on the breast. It has a pale crown stripe and supercilia.

In the boreal winter, they are pale grey above and white below, like a winter dunlin, but retaining the head pattern. Juveniles have backs, similar to young dunlin, but the white flanks and belly and brown-streaked breast are distinctive.

The broad-billed sandpiper is strongly migratory, spending the non-breeding season from easternmost Africa, through south and south-east Asia to Australasia. It is highly gregarious, and will form flocks with other calidrid waders, particularly dunlins.

In migration in spring and autumn.

photo: Mihai BACIU


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