occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Breeding
Global Range: (200,000 to >2,500,000 square km (about 80,000 to >1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDING: northern and western Alaska (Point Barrow and Seward Peninsula, possibly elsewhere) and northeastern Siberia. NON-BREEDING: from southern China south to Andaman and Nicobar Islands, East Indies, New Guinea, Bismarck and Solomon Islands, Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. MIGRATION: coastal northern Alaska, through Pribilofs and Aleutians, widely in coastal western and south-coastal Alaska, casually southward to California (AOU 1983). Accidental in Hawaii and northeastern U.S.
Length: 15 cm
Weight: 36 grams
- Urban, E.K., C.H. Fry & S. Keith (1986). The Birds of Africa, Volume II. Academic Press, London.
Habitat and Ecology
Comments: NON-BREEDING: tidal mudflats and beaches; migrant flocks may pause in open areas such as antenna fields and airstrips (AOU 1983, Pratt et al. 1987). BREEDING: Swampy or mossy tundra, especially with scattered willow scrub (AOU 1983).
Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).
Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.
Comments: Total population estimated to be 471,000 (Morrison et al. 2001). Listed as "by far the most common stint" on Asian and Australian wintering grounds by Paulson (1993). A few dozen breed in Alaska (Morrison et al. 2001).
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Calidris ruficollis
Below is the sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.
See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen.
Other sequences that do not yet meet barcode criteria may also be available.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Calidris ruficollis
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 12
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N3B - Vulnerable
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Moderately large range, but no evidence of declines or major threat on either breeding or non-breeding grounds.
The red-necked stint (Calidris ruficollis) is a small migratory wader.
These birds are among the smallest of waders, very similar to the little stint, Calidris minuta, with which they were once considered conspecific. The red-necked stint's small size, fine dark bill, dark legs and quicker movements distinguish this species from all waders except the other dark-legged stints. It measures 13–17 cm (5.1–6.7 in) in length, 28–37 cm (11–15 in) in wingspan and 21–51 g (0.74–1.80 oz) in body mass. It can be distinguished from the western sandpiper and the semipalmated sandpiper in all plumages by its combination of a fine bill tip, unwebbed toes, and longer primary projection.
The breeding adult has an unstreaked orange breast, bordered with dark markings below, and a white V on its back. In winter plumage identification is difficult, although it is shorter legged and longer winged than the little stint. Juveniles have more contrasting mantle plumage and weaker white lines down the back than their relative. The call is a hoarse "stit".
Distribution and habitat
Red-necked stints are strongly migratory, breeding along the Arctic littoral of eastern Eurasia and spending the non-breeding season in South East Asia and Australasia as far south as Tasmania and New Zealand. They are rare vagrants to western Europe. They are often seen in western Alaska and occasionally elsewhere in the Americas.
Red-necked stints are highly gregarious, and will form flocks with other small Calidris waders, such as sharp-tailed sandpipers and curlew sandpipers in their non-breeding areas. See it here with curlew sandpiper.
Their breeding habitat is tundra. They nest on the ground and breed from spring to summer.
They forage in wet grassland and soft mud, mainly picking up food by sight. In their non-breeding habitat they feed on intertidal mudflats and along the muddy margins of freshwater lakes. They mainly eat insects and other small invertebrates.
Scarborough, SE Queensland, Australia