Spoon-billed Sandpiper is the ‘Shorebird of the Year’ for 2014

The Spoon-billed Sandpiper (Eurynorhynchus pygmeus) is a cute, charismatic sandpiper with a distinctive spatulate bill. This small-sized wader breeds in northeastern Russia and winters in Southeast Asia.

spoon-billed sandpiper
(Drawing of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper from “The Birds of Asia” by John Gould 1850–83)

The last record of its arrival in Singapore was a juvenile that was present in a freshwater pool at Tanah Merah that stayed from 25 December 1999 until 4 February 2000. It is currently listed as a critically endangered species, due to habitat loss on its breeding grounds and loss of tidal flats through its migratory and wintering range. The current population in the wild is probably fewer than 100 pairs.

Due to this catastrophic situation, efforts are underway to save this species from extinction. You can read more about the conservation project here. We urge you to read up more.

This year, this species has been selected as the Shorebird of the Year to raise awareness of its plight and hopefully raise much needed funds to keep the project going.

Here are a few YouTube videos from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology that we find interesting.


Spoon-billed Sandpiper: Breeding Season

 


Spoon-billed Sandpiper: Courtship
 


Spoon-billed Sandpiper: Foraging
 


Spoon-billed Sandpiper: Hatch
 

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