Little Stint

Calidris minuta




Sandpipers, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Olive green or yellow with red brown spots.

Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:

21 - 23

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On ground.

Nest Material:

Lined with willow and dwarf birch leaves.





Little Stint: Medium-sized sandpiper with scaled-brown upperparts and white underparts. Face, neck and breast are rust-brown with black spots. Back has white lines that form a distinctive V pattern in flight. Legs are black. Sexes are similar; females are larger. Winter adult has dull brown upperparts and gray-brown streaks on white underparts. Juvenile's wing coverts and lower scapulars have dark brown centers, rufous and white edges; white edges of mantle form a V; breast is pale buff; chestnut-brown wash on head and back; pale gray crown.

Range and Habitat

Little Stint: Eurasian species. Breeds from Norway to Russian border, winters in Saharan Africa and India; also reported from Canada. Breeds on coastal and island tundra, often with willow scrub; found on sandy beaches, mudflats, and estuaries during winter. Casual to the East and West Coasts, recorded as a vagrant elsewhere.

Breeding and Nesting

Little Stint: These birds breed in arctic Europe and Asia. Four olive green or yellow eggs spotted with reddish brown are laid in a ground scrape lined with willow and dwarf birch leaves. Incubation ranges from 21 to 23 days and is carried out by both parents. They may incubate two clutches simultaneously. The young fly at 15 to 18 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Little Stint: Their diet includes mostly invertebrates. During the breeding season, larval and adult Diptera and small beetles are their primary foods, along with the larvae of mosquitoes and craneflies. In non-breeding season their diet becomes more varied, with ants, waterbugs, annelids, small mollusks, crustaceans, freshwater mites and plant material being taken as well as Diptera and beetles.


Little Stint: Call is a "chit" or "tit", repeated about three times.

Similar Species

Little Stint: Sanderling is larger and paler in winter plumage.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The upper front part of a bird.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
The upper surface of the back and wings covered with shorter feathers.
Short feathers in the area where the bird’s back and wings join.
Wing covertsX
The feathers that cover and protect the flight feathers.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X