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Curlew Sandpiper - BirdForum Opus

Breeding plumage
Photo by swarovskiuser
Lesvos, April 2009
Calidris ferruginea


Length 18–23 cm, wingspan 38-41 cm, weight 44-117 g

  • Long black de-curved bill
  • White uppertail coverts and lower rump
  • Longish black legs

Breeding adult

  • Orange, black and white patterned above
  • Brick red below
Adult winter
Photo by SeeToh
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore, September 2012

Non-breeding adult

  • Pale sandy-grey upperparts
  • White underparts
  • White supercilium
Photo by youngbirder18
Titchwell Marsh, RSPB, UK, August 2005


  • Grey and brown scalloped back
  • White belly and flanks
  • Peachy breast

Similar Species

Winter adult can resemble Dunlin; that differs in shorter bill, black stripe down the middle of the rump, and slightly shorter legs; juvenile Dunlin also differs in streaked flanks, and streaked (not peachy) breast. White-rumped Sandpiper and Stilt Sandpiper share white uppertail coverts in flight, but differ structurally; Stilt Sandpiper also has yellowish, not black, legs. Summer plumage Red Knot is larger and lighter, more orange-toned below, and has a shorter, straighter bill.


Arctic Siberia, migrating through temperate Europe and Asia (north in May, and south in August-September) to winter in tropical Africa, south and southeast Asia and Australasia. A vagrant to North America.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Breeds on high arctic tundra; on passage and wintering in marshes, wet fields, muddy estuaries, and salt pans.


Adult summer in flight
Photo by Neil
Hong Kong, China, April 2009


The diet includes snails, worms and flies.


The nest is a ground scrape and 3-4 eggs are laid.


Flight call: chirrip (lower pitched than Temminck's Stint)


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Wikipedia
  3. Collins Bird Guide ISBN 0 00 219728 6

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