What the heck is the deal with Dunlins? According to Cornell, their size (length) range ranges from 7.1 to 8.7 inches. That's about a 30 percent variation! A quick look through similar shorebirds shows that the normal size variation is typically much smaller. I never paid much attention to this because in my normal birding grounds on the east coast of Florida, dunlins are always smaller than sanderlings. But last weekend I made a trip over to the west coast ... and got real confused. In the photo below, notice the gargantuan bird to the right of the two sanderlings. I desperately tried to convince myself it wasn't a dunlin - but couldn't. It just seems too doggone big. Can someone please put me out of my misery?