On Tuesday morning one of the birds from the third brood was found dead in the corner of its rearing cage. The birds appears to have been in good physical condition and thankfully none of the other birds showing any signs of illness.
At this stage we can’t 100% confirm what caused its death. These young birds are very delicate and in the wild many die when newly fledged, as they get used flying and using the other skills that they need to survive.
For Roland, Liz and the rest of the team this is obviously upsetting, but it is important to put it into perspective by considering the situation in the wild. We still have many more young birds than there would be in the wild at this stage. We have taken big steps towards establishing a conservation breeding programme. And from every set back, we are able to learn more about how to raise spoon-billed sandpipers in the challenging conditions in Chukotka.
As well as trying to determine the cause of death, they are doing all they can to minimise any threats to the birds in the run up to their long voyage to Moscow.