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.
Sleepy Spoonies. Photo by Jodie Clements

Slimbridge Spoonies: As cool as a Spoonie

Once again this year we are experiencing a super-hot summer! Seeing as the Slimbridge Spoonies can’t migrate to the wetlands of China like their wild counterparts, we have to bring the wetlands to them. Current temperatures in the United Kingdom actually match well to where they would
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Hungry hungry Spoonie. Photo by Jodie Clements.

Slimbridge Spoonies: Insect feast!

A bite-sized update 😉 Spoonie ‘Pink Dark Green’ was so distracted by the fruit flies he didn’t even notice he was being filmed until the very last moment! During the breeding season we increase the amount of live insects fed to the captive Spoonies to replicate the massive hatch off o
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Photo by Tanya Grigg.

Slimbridge Spoonies: Happy 1st Birthday to the Chicks!

An update from Tanya Grigg We thought you would like to hear how the 2019-hatched Spoonies are getting on as we celebrate their first birthday today! On 20th March this year we moved the birds from their wintering aviary to their summer accommodation which is exactly the same as the a
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Sleepy Spoonies

Slimbridge Spoonies: 2020 update

This year the majority of the captive Spoonies will be eight years old. Being generation zero of the captive population (the first Spoon-billed Sandpipers to be brought into captivity) you could consider this quite an achievement, for the birds and for the staff caring for them. Over
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Slimbridge Spoonies: They hatched, they grew, they fledged!

Update from Jodie Clements After what felt like an eternity, the eggs had finally been incubated long enough to see whether or not they were fertile… we had some concerns over fertility as no obviously successful copulations had been witnessed. You may be thinking, well this is a priv
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Slimbridge Spoonies: Egg-citing news!

We are pleased to announce that the first eggs of the season have been laid! As you may remember from the previous update, male Pink Dark Green and his female Pink Red Right have been tending diligently to their nest scrape. He has lined it beautifully with thatch, creating a kind of
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Slimbridge Spoonies: Early signs

It wasn’t long after the Spoonies undertook their ‘migration’ to the breeding aviaries before we saw active breeding behaviours! Similarly to the wild Spoon-billed Sandpipers in Meinypil’gyno, the captive birds wasted no time in getting down to business. Some of the Spoonies, bo
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Slimbridge Spoonies: ‘Migration’ and Pairing

The Spoonies have been giving all the right signs and signals that they are ready to pair up and move into their breeding aviaries! Every morning, in recent weeks, the team have been greeted by a chorus of singing Spoonies. Many are reaching full breeding plumage and concentrating on
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Spoonie ‘Red Right’ demonstrating a defensive posture, churring as he does so.

Slimbridge Spoonies: So how do the birds prepare for the breeding season?

Now we’ve finished preparing the facility for the long awaited breeding season, we can keep a close eye on the birds for signs of breeding activity… The first clear indications that the birds are coming into breeding condition is the dropping of their winter feathers. You typically st
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Relaxing as Team Spoonie get down to business! Photo by Jodie Clements.

Slimbridge Spoonies: Preparations for the 2019 Breeding Season

Its that time of year again… The Team are geared up for what looks to be a promising season with the captive Spoon-billed Sandpipers here at WWT Slimbridge. Building on our knowledge and experience with every year, we have entered spring with an open mind and some new ideas. Pro
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