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Headstarting is a collaborative effort between WWT, BirdsRussia and the RSPB, and occurs as part of the International Arctic Expedition mounted each year by BirdsRussia under the leadership of Dr. Evgeny Syroechkovskiy.

Sad news

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.

Our outdoor rearing facility and camp (c) Liz Brown

Our outdoor rearing facility and camp (c) Liz Brown

  1. Gareth Shelley Reply

    Thinking of you guys at this time. You really are super. Heroic. Take care of yourselves and the wee ones.

    Cheers (Hi Roland), Gareth Shelley

  2. Elisa Reply

    I’ve been following your glog since July as I’m a lover for birds as well. I loved it, the photos are amazing as I’m really interested at all your efforts as I would like to work in a place for animal conservation some day. All I can say is, your team is really dedicated and it’s great because we should alway fight for things we truly care about. I wish you guys luck and don’t be too disappointed because I know all your effort will pay off eventually.

    Keep up the fabulous work!

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