(June-July): Curlew Sandpipers breed mainly in central Siberia and coasts
and islands of the Arctic Sea, a few in Northern Alaska. They put on partial
breeding colours before leaving for breeding grounds at the end of winter
(mostly the males).
Kedidi Pasir Kendi(Malay)
Curlew Sandpipers are the only medium-to-small wader in our region
with a distinctive down-curved bill. The bill is rather long compared
to their body size. They are commonly seen during the migrating season,
often in large flocks of hundreds.
Curlew Sandpipers eat mainly worms, supplemented with bivales, gastropods,
crustacea and sometimes seeds. When breeding, they eat mainly insects,
especially flies and beetles.
Curlew Sandpipers forage on wet, soft mud by pecking and probing in
an incessant "stitching" motion. They often keep this up
for hours, foraging frantically as the tide retreats. They wash their
worms before eating them! They feed both during the day and at night,
whenever the tidal situation best suits their hunting style.
They rarely visit freshwater wetlands, foraging almost entirely on
intertidal mud and often wade more deeply than other shorebirds.
When feeding, Curlew Sandpipers mix freely with other small waders
but are themselves well dispersed. But they migrate and roost in flocks.
They are among the few waders that roost by perching in mangrove trees,
but also join mixed species roosts on remote beaches and bare clearings
in mangrove forests.
and wetland wildlife at
Sungei Buloh Nature Park
features: Medium (18-23cm), slender; bill black,
long (3-4cm), slightly decurved; legs black, longish.
Females generally larger with longer bills.
Summer/breeding: head and underparts bright rufous/chestnut;
back scaly brown.
Winter/non-breeding: plain grey-brown above.
Juvenile: Like winter but
with buffy wash on breast and flanks.
Call: Described as a liquid
chreep; gentle liquid rippling chirrup;
complex song comprising a series of chatters, trills and
Rosair and Cottridge
In flight: White wingbar
with white rump.
Similar birds: Dunlin (Calidris alpina)
a very rare visitor and migrant. The Dunlin is more dumpy,
with shorter bill and legs, and in flight, has a dark
centre to its white rump.
Status in Singapore: Very
common winter visitor and passage migrant to coasts of
the island and North offshore islands.
World distribution: Most
of the Old World, including Australia and New Zealand.
Classification: Family Scolopacidae
that includes sandpipers and snipes. World 88 species,
Singapore 34 species. From the Order Charadriiformes
(shorebirds and waders).
Curlew Sandpipers nest in high-arctic coastal tundra on elevated areas of
rough grass next to bogs and pools. Males usually return to the same nesting
site. A male declares his territory with a song flight and slow wingbeats
and glides. Only females appear to incubate while the males leave early.
Males generally travel further south than females.
Migration: Although Curlew Sandpipers
nest in a small area of Siberia, the birds then disperse over a wide area
throughout the Old World including Australia and New Zealand. The major
migration routes are to Africa; Black and Caspian Seas; Indian subcontinent;
and Australasia. Singapore is a stopover on their way further south (August)
and on their way back (March/April). They travel long distances non-stop.
They winter on muddy, poorly vegetated wetland fringes, mainly coastal mudflats,
estuaries, sandy shores, ponds; occasionally, inland swamps. But many non-breeders
(mostly first year birds) may remain in their winter range all year.
Status and threats: Curlew Sandpipers
are not considered at risk. But like other long-distance migrating waders,
Curlew Sandpipers rely on wetlands to build up fat reserves for their marathon
- Morten Strange,
"A Photographic Guide to Birds of Malaysia and Singapore: including
Southeast Asia, the Philippines and Borneo", Periplus, 2000
(p. 122: description, voice, habits, distribution, status, photo).
- David R Wells,
"The Birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Vol. 1 (Non-Passarines)",
Academic Press, 1999 (p. 258-260: identification, distribution map,
habits, habitat, migration, conservation).
- Lim Kim Seng and
Dana Gardner, "Birds: An Illustrated Field Guide to the Birds
of Singapore", Sun Tree Publishing Ltd., 1997 (p. 60: identification,
status in Singapore, distribution, diagram, number of species)
- G W H Davison
and Chew Yen Fook, "A Photographic Guide to Birds of Peninsular
Malaysia and Singapore", New Holland Publishers Ltd., 1995
(p. 39: identification, status in Singapore, distribution, photo).
- Christopher Hails,
"Birds of Singapore" illustrated by Frank Jarvis, Times
Editions, 1987 reprinted 1995 (p. 81: description, status in Singapore,
and lovely drawings of the birds).
- Morten Strange
and Allen Jeyarajasingam, "Birds: A Photographic Guide to the
Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore", Sun Tree Publishing,
1993 (p. 125: description, distribution, habits, habitat, photo).
- Lim Kim Seng,
"Pocket Checklist of the Birds of the Republic of Singapore",
Nature Society (Singapore), 1999 (Abundance, status, Chinese and Malay
- Peter Hayman (et.
al), "Shorebirds: An Identification Guide to the Waders of the
World", Christopher Helm, 1986 (p. 381-382: identification,
distribution, habits, movements, diagrams)
- David Rosair and
David Cottridge, "Photographic Guide to the Shorebirds of the
World", Facts on File, 1995 (p. 156: habits, movement, photos
of adults-breeding and non-breeding, and juvenile).
of the Birds of the World: Vol 3: Hoatzin to Auks", Lynx Edicions,
1996 (p. 508: identification, distribution map, habits, habitat, migration,