Spoon-billed Sandpiper

This species is defined as a Review Species. Please submit your records of this species via our record submission page.

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 2021)

Featured articles:

Past accepted records in our database:

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

BirdLife International. (2021). Calidris pygmaea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-3.RLTS.T22693452A154738156.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023
Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.