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.

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
Continue Reading →
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
Continue Reading →
'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
Continue Reading →
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
Continue Reading →
Soaking up some winter sun. Photo by Jodie Clements.

Slimbridge Spoonies: New Year, New Hope.

Preparations for next season are well underway! Here’s a brief summary of what the Spoonies have been up to post breeding season. Since our last update in July the captive Spoonies (and the team) have been very busy indeed. Once it was established the breeding season was over the bird
Continue Reading →

What’s happening at Slimbridge?

Update from Baz Hughes I think you might have all realised that there’s been a bit of blog silence on the Slimbridge spoonies so it’s time to update you. Put bluntly, we didn’t get eggs this year, but it wasn’t for lack of trying! Moult into summer plumage commenced in late February w
Continue Reading →
White MA resting at the monument, 4 June 2016.

All hands on deck: the 2017 breeding season is imminent

It’s that time of year again! The monitoring and headstarting team have arrived at the breeding grounds in Meinypil’gyno, Russia to await the return of the spoon-billed sandpipers, and at WWT Slimbridge, we’ve moved birds to breeding aviaries and the singing and nest scrap
Continue Reading →
First chick keeping warm on hatch day, 2 July 2016. Photo by Nicola Hiscock/WWT.

Hatching and heartbreak for the Spoon-billed Sandpiper captive breeding programme

From elation to devastation. Over the last few days, the two viable eggs at Slimbridge successfully hatched producing two perfect looking Spoon-billed Sandpiper chicks. The chicks seemed to do well initially but their health deteriorated and within 60 hours of hatching both chicks die
Continue Reading →

Two of the eggs at Slimbridge are fertile and developing well

On Tuesday, the eggs at Slimbridge were candled (tested for fertility) and at least two eggs are looking good! One egg from the first clutch and one from the second. As described in the blog announcing the eggs, the captive Spoon-billed Sandpipers at Slimbridge produced two clutches o
Continue Reading →
Nest of the second pair containing two dummy eggs and one freshly laid Spoon-billed Sandpiper egg, this pair's fifth. Photo by Tanya Grigg.

Spoon-billed Sandpipers have finally laid eggs at WWT Slimbridge!

Two weeks ago we updated you on some positive signs that the captive population at WWT Slimbridge might breed this year. Now we have the great pleasure to tell you that WE HAVE EGGS, the first captive Spoon-billed Sandpiper eggs in history. We have been nervously watching the birds si
Continue Reading →