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.
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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Lime 07, northern Sumatra, 3 November 2018. Photo by Chairunas (Nchay) Adha Putra.

Super Spoonie – Lime 07 and the tag that just keeps on giving

Update from Baz Hughes We’ve known for some years now that Spoon-billed Sandpiper Lime 07 is a Super Spoonie, but until this year we didn’t really know how super! The Birds Russia field team, led by Pavel Tomkovich, caught him on his nest, east of Meinypil’gyno, Chukotka, Russia on 23
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Headstarted Spoon-billed Sandpiper taking its first steps into the big wide world!

News from the Field: The Release

After months of planning, preparation and implementation. The moment we’ve all been waiting for… Over the last 2 weeks these precious little chicks have grown into totally independent fledgling Spoon-billed Sandpipers. They’ve learn to feed themselves, know what is good to eat, where
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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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Sleepy Spoonies. Almost in complete juvenile plumage. Photo by Nikolay Yakoshev.

News from the Field: Onto the Release Pen!

A lot has happened since the last update on the 19th July. Here’s the story so far… By the 12 July all those that were able to hatch had done so. In the first 24/48 hours of a chick’s life it gets nourishment from the remaining yolk inside its body. This gives the chicks time to
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News from the Field: The First Chicks

On the 5th July the first eggs began to pip, 5 days on and we have 14 chicks so far! The eggs are weighed regularly throughout incubation to track their progress but as due date approaches they are checked carefully for the first signs of hatching. At around 19 days of incubation the
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White-billed Diver on Lake Pekul’neyskoye. Photo by James Phillips.

News from the field: A Close Encounter with the Loons

Update from James Phillips who is now back in the UK There are certain iconic birds that capture the imagination, that define a given landscape or habitat or are just emblematic of those beautiful remote wild places that we all on occasion dream about. The White-billed Diver or the Ye
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'Spoon-billed Bagpiper'. Photo by Jodie Clements.

News from the Field: A Full Incubator

Spirits are high now the incubator is full and the River mouth is finally open! This year a grand total of 35 eggs have been collected by Nickolay and Ivan, 31 before the re-lay cut-off date (21st June) allowing females the chance to lay a second clutch and males to rear their own bro
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A full clutch of Spoonie eggs, waiting for collection. Photo by Jodie Clements.

News from the Field: The First Eggs

The first few eggs are safe in the incubator, but the search for more nesting pairs continues… Finding Spoon-billed Sandpiper pairs has been a little tricky this year. Normally very site loyal they tend to nest in the same place every year but with the heavy flooding many birds have b
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