This bird travels 3000 km to reach Pallikaranai Marsh every year!

Jun 15, 2015 No Comments by

Common name: Little Stint

Red List Category & Criteria: Least ConcernLittle_Stint_(Calidris_minuta)_2

The little stint is a small wader bird. It is a long distance migratory bird. It is small in size, has a dark bill and dark legs which helps it to move quickly. It is distinguished from other dark legged stints by its plumage, fine bill tip, unwebbed toes and long primary projection. Breeding adults can be easily noticeable as they have an orange wash on the breast, a white throat and a prominent white V on the back.  Juveniles have pale crown stripes and have a pinkish colored breast.

It is known to migrate overland on a broad front (del Hoyo et al. 1996) (or by using a number of routes), (Snow and Perrins 1998) across the Western Palearctic (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998). The little stint is nomadic especially during winters as many of the habitats it uses floods or becomes over grown (Hockey et al. 2005). Migration during winter occurs between July and November and the migration back occurs between mid-May to early June (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding occurs during late June and early July (del Hoyo et al. 1996). This bird is sociable even outside of its breeding season (Snow and Perrins 1998). It is seen in small groups during winter season (Urban et al. 1986) and forms larger flock groups to roost (Hockey et al. 2005). A migratory flock in general, consists of 20-30 individuals (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding pairs nest as close as 5 pairs/ha, however on most occasions they are spread out (10 pairs/km²) (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Breeding:

The little stint inhabits low altitude tundra in the high Arctic (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It prefers dry ground with dwarf willows close to swamp areas or salt marshes (del Hoyo et al. 1996), or even laces where moss and sedge are interspersed with hummocks (Johnsgard 1981). Areas that receive an annual rainfall of above 250mm are avoided (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

During non-breeding season the little stint can be found on the muddy edges of small inland lakes and reservoirs (Johnsgard 1981), riverbanks (del Hoyo et al. 1996), seasonal pools (Snow and Perrins 1998), as well as on coastal mudflats and seashores (Johnsgard 1981, del Hoyo et al. 1996).  During its winter range it is found in habitats of coastal areas, enclosed lagoons, (del Hoyo et al. 1996), saltpans (Urban et al. 1986) and in some areas it occurs in inland freshwater wetlands such as marshes, paddy fields, jheels, etc, (del Hoyoet al. 1996).

Breeding site

The little stint builds its nest that resembles a shallow cup (Snow and Perrins 1998) on the open ground (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998), which is sometimes covered with vegetation (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Diet

The little stint predominantly has a diet that consists of invertebrates (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998). During the breeding season, it prefers to eat larva, adult Diptera and small beetles (del Hoyo et al. 1996), it is particularly fond of the larvae of mosquitos and crane flies (Johnsgard 1981). During non-breeding seasons it prefers a mixed diet of ants, Hymenoptera, water bugs, crustaceans, plant material, Diptera andbeetles (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Threats

The activities that threaten the little stint differ across the world. In Point Calimere (India), three activities pose a danger to this species; illegal hunting (bird trapping) habitat alterations by salt industries on reservoir and marshlands and degradation of habitats due to scanty rainfall patterns (Balachandran 2006). In the Walvis Bay (Namibia), habitat degradation (due to change in flood regime and wetland reclaimation) and disturbance from tourism (Wearne and Underhill 2007) are two prominent threats. The little stint is highly susceptible to avian malaria (Mendeset al. 2005) and avian botulism (Blaker 1967, van Heerden 1974), and maybe gravely threatened in the future in case of outbreaks.

Written by: Tamanna Kalam

References:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_stint
  2. Balachandran, S. 2006. The decline in wader populations along the east coast of India with special reference to Point Calimere, south-east India. In: Boere, G.; Galbraith, C., Stroud, D. (ed.), Waterbirds around the world, pp. 296-301. The Stationary Office, Edinburgh, UK.
  3. Blaker, D. 1967. An outbreak of Botulinus poisoning among waterbirds. Ostrich 38(2): 144-147.
  4. Brazil, M. 2009. Birds of East Asia: eastern China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, eastern Russia. Christopher Helm, London.
  5. Delany, S.; Scott, D. 2006. Waterbird population estimates. Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
  6. del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., and Sargatal, J. 1996. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 3: Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
  7. Hockey, P.A.R., Dean, W.R.J. and Ryan, P.G. 2005. Roberts birds of southern Africa. Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town, South Africa.
  8. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 19 June 2012).
  9. Johnsgard, P. A. 1981. The plovers, sandpipers and snipes of the world. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, U.S.A. and London.
  10. Mendes, L.; Piersma, T.; Lecoq, M.; Spaans, B.; Ricklefs, E. 2005. Disease-limited distributions? Contrasts in the prevalence of avian malaria in shorebird species using marine and freshwater habitats. Oikos 109: 396-404.
  11. Snow, D.W. and Perrins, C.M. 1998. The Birds of the Western Palearctic, Volume 1: Non-Passerines. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  12. Urban, E.K., Fry, C.H. and Keith, S. 1986. The Birds of Africa, Volume II. Academic Press, London.
  13. van Heerden, J. 1974. Botulism in the Orange Free State goldfields. Ostrich 45(3): 182-184.
  14. Wearne, K.; Underhill, L. G. 2005. Walvis Bay, Namibia: a key wetland for waders and other coastal birds in southern Africa. Wader Study Group Bulletin 107: 24-30.
  15. BirdLife International 2012. Calidris minuta. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>.

 

 

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts
static
No Responses to “This bird travels 3000 km to reach Pallikaranai Marsh every year!”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.