Curlew Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper 

(Calidris ferruginea)

Also known as Pygmy Curlew and Curlew-Stint.

Description: Small to medium sized wader. It has a long, black bill with a down curved end and black legs and feet.  During their non-breeding, the plumage is grey brown above, white below with a white wing bar visible in flight. When breeding the plumage is a bright reddish brown below and the wings are barred black.

Size: 18-23cm

Voice: Loud ‘Chirrup’

Feeding: Feeds on insects, and their larvae when breeding. Especially the polychaete worms.  Procures its food on sandy or muddy flats during low tides or marshes/wetlands during a high tide.

Habitat: Found on intertidal mudflats of estuaries, lagoons, mangroves as well as beaches, around dams, lakes and floodwaters.

Location: Common summer migrant from northeastern Siberia and Alaska, found in Australia coastally or inland suitable habitats. Sometimes in freshwater wetlands in the Murray-Darling basin – records of this are mainly of birds pausing for a few days during migration.

Nests: An exposed depression in the ground. The female builds the nest, incubates the eggs and raises the young alone.

Eggs:  4  - greenish-grey with rufous-brown markings and underlying spots of purplish-grey

Breeding: June (northern Siberia)

Acknowledgements: Field Guide to the Birds of Australia: Simpson and Day,  A Naturalists Guide to the Birds of Australia: Dean Ingwersen National Geographic, What Bird is that?: Neville W Cayleys,,

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