Monday, July 30, 2007

Sanderling fact sheet

Calidris alba Sanderling

The sanderling, or Arctic sanderling, is a common bird that can be seen along the beach picking throught the sand in search for food and scurrying after the waves as they roll back out to sea. They are often sighted in small groups and feed on insects, molluscs, small crustaceans and plants. They can live to be 13 years old. Sanderlings can reach a length of 18 to 20 cm with a wingspan of 36 - 38 cm and and a weight 40 to 100 g. They have a speckled brownish-grey plumage with a paler/white belly, a dark, pointed bill and black legs. In winter the plumage turns greyish-white and this plumage often matches the pale sand (not in Azores as we have dark volcanic sand). The sanderling is a migratory species, breeding only on the high Arctic tundra, but in winter time migrate to sandy beaches all over the world. Individual birds often return to the same wintering sites each year. They lay 4 eggs each time. The incubation time is 23 to 32 days and fledging occurs at 12 to 14 days. Destruction and human use of beach habitats has resulted in a sharp decline of sanderlings in the last decades.



In other languages
Portuguese: Pirlito-das-praias
Spanish: Correlimos tridáctilo/playerito blanco
French: Bécasseau sanderling
Italian: Piovanello tridattilo 
German: Sanderling
Dutch: Drieteenstrandloper
Swedish: Sandlöpare
Norwegian: Sandløper
Danish: Sandløber
Finnish: Pulmussirri

Polish: Piaskowiec
RussianПесчанка


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