Endangered spoon-billed sandpipers show up in east China's Jinjiang City

Two spoon-billed sandpipers were recently spotted in Jinjiang City of east China's Fujian Province by birdwatchers.

One of the spoon-billed sandpipers found on October 27 had a label on its foot. Confirmed by the Xiamen Bird Watching Society, this is a baby sandpiper labeled by Russian ornithologists, indicating the bird had just migrated from Russia.

"The flag reads 'L7' which is a label created by Russian scientists. It is believed to be a very good record as this baby bird was born in Russia this year. It is less than one year old, but can migrate here and was found by us. It is an excellent record," said Zhu Jing'en, a birdwatcher.

The spoon-billed sandpiper is a critically endangered species, with a global population of between 200 and 450, according to the latest data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and BirdLife International. 

As small wetland birds, spoon-billed sandpipers are found in northern Europe and Asia, and winter in Southeast Asia. As both a stopover and destination for migratory birds, Fujian had been visited by two spoon-billed sandpipers respectively in February and March, according to records. The latest record marks the third visit of the bird this year.

"Those migratory birds come here for its unique environment. It is a confluence of fresh- and salt-water rivers, with a mudflat that has no sand but sufficient benthos suitable for birds to live here. And you can see a very flat beach where it is easy for birds to look for food with little disturbance from humans," said Zhu.

(Cover photo via VCG.)

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