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.

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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Spoon-billed Sandpiper Announcement

It’s with great pride and sadness that we announce the successful breeding of the first spoonie chick at Slimbridge and the first ever anywhere in the world, however the bird has sadly died. Just as we were about to officially announce the news, it died of a tragic flying injury that
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Pink Red Right (2012 female) and Pink Dark Green Right (2012 male) showing off their breeding plumage. Photo by Jodie Clements.

Slimbridge Spoonies: A Quick Update

The seven females and their partners seem settled in their breeding aviaries… but will they lay eggs? ‘Time-shifting’ the Spoonies, by six weeks, has so far, led to many birds acquiring breeding plumage six weeks sooner. With the beginning of territorial singing coin
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'Where did I leave those crickets?' Photo by Tanya Grigg.

Slimbridge Spoonies: In the snow!

Although not everyone has enjoyed the extra snow this weekend, the Spoonies at Slimbridge are having the time of their lives! We thought you’d like to see some of the snowy scenes at the Spoon-billed Sandpiper facility brought by the ‘Beast from the East’ at the start of March and in
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Blue Right (2011 Male). 30th November, 7th January, 21st January & 4th February.

Slimbridge Spoonies- A Quick Update

Since the decision was made to time-shift the Spoonies (bring the breeding season forward by altering day length) things have been a little apprehensive in the polytunnels… so has it paid off? For most of their lives the Spoonies have experienced artificial day lengths, using ar
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