Spoon-billed Sandpiper

Calidris pygmeus




Sandpipers, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Pale brown with small brown spots

Number of Eggs:

3 - 4

Incubation Days:

18 - 20

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On sand ridges or gravel bars along coast.

Nest Material:

Leaves or moss.





Spoon-billed Sandpiper: Small sandpiper with scaled brown and black upperparts, red-brown wash on face, neck, and spotted upper breast, and white underparts. Most distinguishing characteristic is the extraordinarily flared tip on its bill. Sexes are similar. Juvenile is grayer overall and lacks breast spots and red-brown wash on head and breast.

Range and Habitat

Spoon-billed Sandpiper: Breeds on the coast of far northeastern Siberia on the Chukchi Peninsula south to the Kamchatka Peninsula. Winters along the coasts of South and Southeast Asia, ranging from India east to the Philippines. Critically endangered. Very rarely seen in Alaska and British Columbia.

Breeding and Nesting

Spoon-billed Sandpiper: Nests near the coast on sparsely vegetated sand or gravel bars. Lays three to four pale brown eggs with small brown spots that are incubated 18 to 20 days by both parents. Female leaves soon after chicks hatch and male raises young til he leaves when they are 15 to 20 days old.

Foraging and Feeding

Spoon-billed Sandpiper: Feeds in shallow water on mudflats, sweeping its unique bill from side to side and stepping forward slowly as it feeds. Eats insects, invertebrate larvae, and small clams.


Spoon-billed Sandpiper: Loud "wheet."

Similar Species

Spoon-billed Sandpiper: Rare vagrant. Red-necked Stint and Little Stint do not have spoon-shaped bill.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The upper front part of a bird.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X