Spoon-billed Sandpiper

Scientific Name: Calidris pygmaea
Malay Name: Kedidi Paruh Sudu
Chinese Name: 勺嘴鹬

Breeding in north-eastern Siberia. Winters in South and South-east Asia.


Size: 14-16 cm

A small wader that resembles the Red-necked Stint and Little Stint. Diagnotic feature is its spatulate bill. In breeding plumage the bird is reddish-brown around the head, breast and back. The breast has varying amounts of dark streaks extending towards the belly, which is white. Non-breeding adults lack the reddish colouration, but have pale brownish-grey upperparts with with a lightly streaked cap and back of the neck. The underparts, throat and forehead are white. The legs are black.

Similar looking species: Red-necked Stint, Little Stint

Habitat: Mudflats, sandflats, sometimes sandy beaches, salt pans and prawn ponds.

Behaviour/Ecology: Feeds in shallow waters and on soft wet mud. Feeding style consists of sweeping bill from side-to-side as the bird walks forward with its head down.

Local Status: Very rare migrant

Conservation Status: Critically Endangered (BirdLife International 2018)

Location: One bird at Tanah Merah pond (25 Dec 1999 – 4 Feb 2000), one bird at West Coast (4 Nov 1978 – 3 Mar 1979) and one bird at Jurong (26 Oct 1963).


External Links:
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List Page
Photos: Oriental Bird Images
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link

BirdLife International. (2018). Calidris pygmaea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018. Downloaded on 2 September 2021
Robson, C. (2008). A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia. New Holland Publishers.