Curlew Sandpiper

Scientific name: Calidris ferruginea
IUCN designation: Near Threatened

The Curlew Sandpiper is a small to medium sized slender shorebird, known for their lengthy migration from their breeding grounds in the Siberian Arctic to their wintering grounds in Sub-Saharan Africa, India, Sri Lanka and Australia ā€” an extensive range!1.

These Sandpipers typically are 18-23 cm (7-9 in) long and have a wingspan of 38-41 cm (15-16 in)1,2

The Curlew Sandpiper is identified by its rusty red head, neck, chest and underparts during its summer breeding season. During the non-breeding season the plumage is dull grey. One can distinguish the highly gregarious curlew sandpiper from other shorebirds by identifying its longed decurved black bill, white rump, and the white fringes on its dark brown scapular and covert feathers1,3.

The Curlew Sandpiper follows multiple migratory routes. The AMASS project is following two routes going across the western Palearctic: one going towards West Africa and one towards Southern Africa, passing through the East African Rift Valley lakes1.

Given its range, the Curlew Sandpiper is exposed to multiple threats which are dependent on the site they occupy. The populations of Curlew Sandpiper which AMASS is following is threatened by habitat degradation due to urban/ industrial development and pollution. On the other hand, certain areas are threatened by intensive fish/benthic fauna harvesting, water-management and irrigation schemes1,4.