About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Please Help Save the Spoon-billed Sandpiper

DSCN1441.JPGImage by Kentish Plover via FlickrBirdLife International, a global conservation organization that strives to help birds, has been nominated as a finalist to receive money from Disney’s Friends for Change campaign. They’ve asked all bird lovers to spread the word about the project: "Saving Spoony’s Chinese Wetlands".

The Spoon-billed Sandpiper is one of the rarest birds in the world. It gets its name from its spoon-shaped beak, which it uses to pick up food from the mud left uncovered when the tide goes out.

_IGP4053Image by nkenji via Flickr
Spoon-billed Sandpiper
Every year it flies over 9,000 km from the Arctic tundra in Russia, where it nests, to the tropics of southern Asia, where it spends the winter. Then, in spring, it flies all the way back again.

But the bird that carries its own cutlery is in danger of having nowhere to go to eat. The tidal mudflats it depends on to rest and refuel on its incredible journey are being drained and covered with houses and factories. There may be as few as 400 left, down from 2,000 just 10 years ago.

BirdLife’s China Program, the Hong Kong Birdwatching Society and friends in China, including the Wild Bird Society of Shanghai and Fujian Bird Watching Society will work at two wetlands near Shanghai, which Spoon-billed Sandpipers stop at on their way round China’s coast. Gathering information about all the waterbirds that use these two wetlands will help us protect them better.

Talks, games and field trips will be organized for children at local schools, to inspire them about the values of wetlands and wildlife. Students will be encouraged to form Conservation Groups, and become the ambassadors for the Spoon-billed Sandpiper, telling local people and the government that there is a bird nearby that needs their help.

Voting opened on 29th November. You can help the Spoon-billed Sandpiper with registering on the Disney website by going to http://disney.go.com/projectgreen/explorevote.html and giving Spoony your vote.

“We were thrilled to receive the news that our Spoon-billed Sandpiper project had been selected for Disney’s Friends for Change Initiative”, said Richard Grimmett, BirdLife’s Head of Conservation. “This gives us a great opportunity to tell people who live near these sites that their wetlands support a bird rarer than the Giant Panda.”

In the past, Disney has provided support for a range of BirdLife projects, from saving the forest home of the Philippines Eagle, to protecting and restoring one of Sumatra’s last intact areas of rainforest. “We really appreciate Disney’s continued support of our species and habitat conservation programs, together with our education, awareness and outreach work”, Richard Grimmett added.

BirdLife International is coordinating a wide program of work on Spoon-billed Sandpiper through the Preventing Extinctions Program. For more details visit www.birdlife.org/extinction

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