As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 26 August 2013

British conservationists give rare spoon-billed sandpiper a helping hand

One of the world’s rarest birds has had its numbers boosted by a scheme to hand-rear chicks.

Spoon-billed sandpipers have been helped by British conservationists who worked with scientists in the bird’s native Russia where only 100 live in the wild.

They took the eggs from breeding pairs shortly after they were laid to encourage them to have another clutch. The eggs taken from the birds were hand-reared, boosting their numbers by 16.

The birds usually rear 60 young between them before their 8,000km (5,000-mile) annual migration to Burma.

‘The spoon-billed sandpiper needs a lifeline to keep them from going under,’ said Roland Digby, of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.

‘Each pair is lucky to get even a single chick as far as fledging. Normally that’s life, but right now the spoon-billed sandpiper needs a lifeline to keep them from going under.’

The spoon-billed sandpiper has been hit by loss of inter-tidal habitat in East Asia as they migrate south from their Russian breeding grounds.

Bird trapping by villagers in their wintering sites in Bangladesh and Burma has also affected numbers.

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