Sanderling

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Sanderling

 

(Calidris alba,) a bird of the family Charadriidae of the suborder Limicolae. The sanderling is approximately 18 cm long and weighs between 45 and 75 g. The legs are tridactyl, with the rear toe missing. The black back with reddish spots turns light gray in the winter; the underparts are white.

The sanderling inhabits Greenland, some arctic islands, and the northernmost coastal tundras of Siberia and North America. It winters along the seacoasts of South Asia, Australia, Africa, and South America. Nests are constructed on the ground. A clutch consists of four olive-yellow eggs with dark spots. The parents take turns incubating the eggs for 23 or 24 days. Sander-lings feed on insects and other small invertebrates; sometimes they eat the buds of tundra vegetation.