Project Description

Little Stint


Little stint is a very small wader and breeds in arctic Europe and Asia. Long-distance migrant, wintering south of Africa and South Asia.

Facts & Details:

  • Category: Waders
  • Scientific Name: Calidris minuta
  • Weight: 20–30 g
  • Size: 12–14 cm; 17–44 g; wingspan 28–31 cm.
  • Current Population Trend: Increasing
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern (LC) [IUCNREDLIST]

Little Stint Identification:

The first identification clue for this Stint is it’s very small size, the short fine black bill with straight and narrow-tip. And medium-length dark legs, unwebbed toes and quicker movements. Which distinguish this species from all waders.

The adult in breeding plumage:
Head, neck and breast are rufous with dark streaks, whereas chin and throat are white, like belly and undertail-coverts. We can see a pale supercilium from lores to ear-coverts. Feathers have blackish centres and pale rufous edges and tips, creating a conspicuous scaled pattern. There is a whitish V on the mantle.

The non-breeding adult:
Greyer, with brownish-grey upperparts showing dark mottling and pale fringes. On the head, the crown is grey with dark streaks. Breast sides and eye stripe are dull grey. Face and underparts are white.

Little Stint vs Temminck’s Stint:

The Little Stint’s best-distinguishing features with Temminck’s Stint are the white lengthwise stripes on their backs (absent on Temminck’s Stint). And the grey colouring on their tail feathers (white on Temminck’s Stint).

Geographic Range:

It is a long-distance migrant and it winters to Africa and India. From Mediterranean regions and Africa, through Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf, E to Indian Subcontinent and Myanmar.

They breeds in arctic regions of Europe and Asia. From N Scandinavia, through Novaya Zemlya and NW and NC Siberia to New Siberian Islands and R Yana. Some vagrants may occur in N America and Australia. And small numbers in SE Britain and Madagascar.

Habitat & Behaviour:

This Stint breeds in the High Arctic Tundra on dry grounds or grassy areas. Fairly close to pools and lakes, among small willows or near salt-marshes. On migration, it’s seen at small inland waters, riverbanks, or on coastal mudflats and seashores, and at freshwater lakes on passage.

Diet: This Stint feeds primarily on invertebrates such as larvae and adults Diptera. And small beetles during the breeding season. Outside this period, it also feeds on ants, Hymenoptera, water-bugs and annelids. And also takes molluscs, crustaceans and some plant matter.

Behavior: They feed by rapid pecking from mud surface. It also probes sometimes, and wades in shallow water. The preys are detected by sight. It may sometimes defend its feeding territory against other waders.

Regional Names:

  • Gujarati: નાનો કીચડીયો, કાળા પગ કીચડીયો
  • Bengali: ছোট চাপাখি
  • French: Bécasseau minute
  • Malayalam: കുരുവി മണലൂതി
  • Marathi: छोटा पाणलावा
  • Tamil: கொசு உள்ளான்