LITTLE STINT(Calidris minuta) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Little Stint breeding adult has a scaled pattern of rufous and brown upper parts. Tail is shorter than wings. There is a lighter eyebrow band. Under parts are white. Eyes are black. Bill is slightly shorter than head and black, legs and feet also are black. Non-breeding adults have a whitish V band on the back. This is a small shorebird at about 12 cm (5 inches) long.
NAME: ‘Stint’ would stem from Middle English and mean something like ‘blunt’ or ‘short’. It also might be an onomatopoeia for the bird’s call. Latin genus name ‘Calidris’ refers to a grey speckled shorebird. Latin species name ‘minuta’ means ‘small’.
HABITAT: Mudflats, sandy shores, fields.
DIET: Small invertebrates, insects, worms, molluscs.
BREEDING/NESTING: Both sexes are polygamous, and may incubate different clutches. Nest is a shallow scrape on the ground. Three to four yellow-green eggs are laid, incubated by both parents. Chicks are able to feed themselves soon after hatching.
DISTRIBUTION: Breeding range includes the Arctic in Europe and Asia. Winters in Africa and coastal Southeast Asia. Some individuals have wandered as far away as Hawaii. (See note below on bird vagrancy.)
Distribution Map:
ON PEI: Does not breed on Prince Edward Island, sightings listed as ‘accidental’ so far. See note below on bird vagrancy.
CONSERVATION: Breeding population fluctuates in relation to the lemmings’. In low lemming years, predators such as the Snowy Owl and Jaegers will prey on shorebird species instead.
NOTES: The little stint is a small shorebird part of the Sandpiper family.
They form large flocks during migration, often with similar species.
Vagrancy: In biology this means an animal going way outside its normal range. For birds, this can happen when there are storms and they get blown off course. On other times, the bird simply wanders in a different direction than usual. Here’s an article about vagrancy in birds.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper
REFERENCES: (Nature Gate Finland) (New Zealand Birds Online) Vagrant (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds)

Little stint, Vorarlberg, Austria, by Ken Billington Sept. 2008
Little stint, Austria, by Ken Billington
Little stint with Dunlin, Puck Bay, Poland - Sept 2007, by Dariusz Kowalczyk
Little stint with Dunlin, Dariusz Kowalczyk

Little Stint, non-breeding plumage – Vasai, India – Feb. 2015 – photo by mvbhaktha
Little Stint, non-breeding plumage
Vasai, India, by mvbhaktha