HAIKOU /China/, December 1. /TASS/. Chinese scientist have discovered a critically endangered species of birds called spoon billed sandpipers in the southern Chinese province of Hainan for the first time, the Hainan International Communications Network reported. These birds breed in northeastern Russia and winter in the Southeast Asian region.
The sandpiper was spotted in early November by the Danzhou Bay Bird Protection Team, which recorded the island's first winter appearance of this species. This event, according to Shen Yu, president of Chengdu City Bird Watch Society (Southwest Sichuan Province), is of great significance and will help studying the population and life of endangered bird species around the world.
The spoon-billed sandpiper is a small bird of 14 to 16 cm in length with a beak that resembles a spoon or spatula. The species is listed as critically endangered because of its small and declining population.
A total of four individuals were spotted on the beach in Danzhou Bay after low tide by a team of researchers. One of them had a ribbon labeled "C2" on its paw. This indicates that the bird had been ringed and was under observation by scientists studying the migration dynamics of migratory birds. According to the Agency for the Protection of the Spoon-Billed Sandpiper in China, this individual was artificially bred in Chukotka and released into the wild on July 26, 2021.
Scientists do not yet know whether the bird flew to Hainan for wintering or simply made a stop on its way to another area, the publication writes.