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.

First Nest and Surplus of Males

We found the first nest today, but will wait a few days before collecting the eggs to ensure we have the full clutch. Most pairs are still in pre-nesting stages and patience is needed. Over the last few days we have been encountering more and more lonely males desperately displaying, indicating a territory, but there are not enough females. At least five of these males and possibly seven are still looking for females. This is sad to see and also very worrying. It is yet another sign of a diminishing population. The shift in the gender balance towards a surplus of males has been noted in other very rare species, and it is more obvious this year with the SbS than in previous years.
Let’s hope that some females will still arrive, but the chances are getting slimmer by the day.


First Nest of Spoonbilled Sandpiper c Christoph Zoeckler

First Nest of Spoonbilled Sandpiper c Christoph Zoeckler

Christoph has been working in the Russian Arctic for over 16 years and he currently coordinates the Spoon-billed sandpiper Task Force. He is leading the 2012 expedition to Chukotka. An ecological consultant by day, Christoph has been at the centre of Spoon-billed sandpiper conservation and research since 2000. Christoph was a key part of the survey team that identified Myanmar, as the key non-breeding area for spoon-billed sandpipers. He has also regularly visited the breeding grounds around Meinypilgyno. Christoph has contributed much of the research that has helped us understand the dire situation currently facing the birds.
  1. Nigel Jarrett Reply

    This is very worrying news, In your last post Christoph you said there were 7-8 pairs on territories. Are you revising this to two pairs and at last five males holding territories? Good luck to you and the team.Your work is inspirational 🙂

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