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.

Sandpiper Sex Ratio

We have learnt some very promising news regarding the sexes of our twelve strong flock of spoon-billed sandpipers. We were recently informed of the sexes of almost all of the birds which includes at least four females – hooray! This gives us a ratio of four females to seven males with one bird ‘unknown’. While it could have been better, the team and I are relieved to have four females.

The females are in great condition; two birds in particular, ‘Blue Right’ and ‘Pink Right’, are very dominant within the flock. We are obviously holding out hope that the ‘unknown’ bird, ‘Green Left’ might also be female. This is not totally out of the question when considering this bird is one of the larger in the flock compared to some of the smaller males. In spoon-billed sandpipers, similarly to other wading bird species, it is the females that are larger than males.

We are hoping that next summer these four females will successfully pair with four males from the flock in order to breed.

  1. NigelH Reply

    Good news indeed. That gives your feathery fingers something to work with, next year should be interesting.

  2. Ken Tucker (AKA Turnip) Reply

    You’re right Nigel H – Next year will be extremely interesting. Thanks for this news, Nicky. How are the birds looking? Did they colour up at all this year or remain pretty much like winter plumage? Lets hope that Green Left is also female – GLoria rather than GLen! Hope you’re enjoying working with these little miracles. You’ve been a great SBS mum so far. Keep up the good work. Ken

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