Calidris ferruginea, Curlew Sandpiper, Kedidi Golgol

Written by on April 13, 2012 in Indonesia Bird with 0 Comments

Calidris ferruginea, Curlew Sandpiper, Kedidi Golgol


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.

Breeding (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).

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 journeys.


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