Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)

Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)

The Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea) is a small, migratory wading bird belonging to the family Scolopacidae. It breeds in northern Asia and migrates to Africa, Asia, and Australia during the non-breeding season. The Curlew Sandpiper is known for its distinctive, curved bill and long legs, which it uses to probe into mud and sand to find food.

Physical Characteristics:

The Curlew Sandpiper measures around 18-21 centimeters (7-8 inches) in length, with a wingspan of approximately 40-45 centimeters (16-18 inches). It has a distinctive, reddish-brown and white plumage, with a long, curved bill that is slightly down-turned at the tip. During breeding season, the male’s plumage is brighter and more colorful than the female’s.


The Curlew Sandpiper feeds primarily on invertebrates, such as insects, crustaceans, and mollusks. The bird uses its long bill to probe into mud and sand to find food, and it is also able to catch insects on the surface of the water.

Reproduction and Lifecycle:

The breeding season for the Curlew Sandpiper typically occurs between May and July, depending on the location. These birds breed in northern Asia, mainly in wet tundra and taiga habitats. They build a shallow scrape in the ground, which they line with grass, moss, and other vegetation.

The female lays 3 to 4 eggs, which are incubated by both parents for around 22-24 days. After hatching, the chicks are able to leave the nest almost immediately and are able to feed themselves within a few hours of hatching. The young birds are able to fly at around 21-28 days old and become fully independent within a few weeks of fledging.

Conservation Status:

The Curlew Sandpiper is currently listed as a species of “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to its wide distribution and stable population. However, the bird could face potential threats from habitat loss due to wetland drainage, pollution, and other human activities. Conservation efforts focus on habitat preservation, monitoring populations, and reducing disturbances to nesting sites to ensure the long-term survival of the species.

Updated: 20 April 2023 — 15:26

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