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Broad-billed Sandpiper Calidris falcinellus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Christidis, L.; Boles, W. E. 2008. Systematics and taxonomy of Australian birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
Cramp, S.; Perrins, C. M. 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
Turbott, E. G. 1990. Checklist of the birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

Taxonomic note
Calidris falcinellus (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Limicola.

Limicola falcinellus (Pontoppidan, 1763)

Population justification
The global population is estimated to number c.71,000-160,000 individuals (Wetlands International, 2006), while national population sizes have been estimated at c.50-1,000 individuals on migration and < c.50 wintering individuals in Taiwan and c.100-10,000 breeding pairs and c.50-1,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).

Trend justification
The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006).

Behaviour This species is a full migrant, and migrates on a broad front (del Hoyo et al. 1996) by making short flights between a series of stop-over sites (Verkuil et al. 2006). Adults breeding in Fennoscandia leave the breeding grounds in July (juveniles departing in August), and stop-over in substantial numbers in Sivash, southern Ukraine, on the Middle Eastern coasts, Caspian Sea and Bulgarian seaboard, before arriving in wintering grounds in Africa, Pakistan and south India between August and early-October (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Eastern breeding populations migrate on a broad front across the taiga, or along the eastern edge of the continent between September and October, and return in April-May (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The Fennoscandian breeding population departs the wintering grounds in the spring between mid-April and early-June (del Hoyo et al. 1996). A few non-breeding birds also remain at the wintering sites during the summer (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding occurs in early- to late-June in Fennoscandia, and between mid-June and early-July in Russia, pairs nesting in loose colonies of 2-10 nests, usually spaced 80-100 m apart (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species migrates singly or in small groups, although during the spring migration flocks of up to several hundred can occur (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Habitat Breeding This species breeds in the wettest parts of bogs (Snow and Perrins 1998) and on open peatland; the Scandinavian and north-west Russian populations breeding in the subarctic montane and lowland zones above 200 m (del Hoyo et al. 1996) (around 1,000 m in Norway) (Snow and Perrins 1998), and the Siberian population breeding in wet Arctic tundra (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Non-breeding On migration this species shows a preference for muddy and boggy areas on the shores of ponds and lakes, but it is also found on shallow freshwater, brackish and saline (sometimes hyper-saline) lagoons, temporary swamps, flooded rice-fields, overgrazed wet meadows, inlets of fjords (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998). The species mainly overwinters on large, soft intertidal mudflats, in brackish lagoons, on saltpans (del Hoyo et al. 1996), sewage farms and saltmarshes (Snow and Perrins 1998). Diet This species is omnivorous, its diet consisting of marine nereid worms, small bivalves and snails, crustaceans (e.g. amphipods), adult and larval insects (e.g. beetles, flies, grasshoppers, ants) (del Hoyo et al. 1996), as well as the seeds of aquatic plants (Snow and Perrins 1998). Breeding site The nest is a cup on top of a wet sedge or moss cushion, well raised above the water level (Johnsgard 1981).

In China and South Korea important migrational staging areas of this species around the coast of the Yellow Sea are being lost through land reclamation, and degraded as a result of declining river flows (from water abstraction), increased environmental pollution, unsustainable harvesting of benthic fauna and a reduction in the amount of sediment being carried into the area by the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers (Barter 2002, Barter 2006).

Barter, M. 2002. Shorebirds of the Yellow Sea. Wetlands International, Canberra, Australia.

Barter, M. A. 2006. The Yellow Sea - a vitally important staging region for migratory shorebirds. In: Boere, G.; Galbraith, C., Stroud, D. (ed.), Waterbirds around the world, pp. 663-667. The Stationary Office, Edinburgh, UK.

Brazil, M. 2009. Birds of East Asia: eastern China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, eastern Russia. Christopher Helm, London.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1996. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 3: Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Delany, S.; Scott, D. 2006. Waterbird population estimates. Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Johnsgard, P. A. 1981. The plovers, sandpipers and snipes of the world. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, U.S.A. and London.

Snow, D. W.; Perrins, C. M. 1998. The Birds of the Western Palearctic vol. 1: Non-Passerines. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Verkuil, Y.; van der Have, T. M.; van der Winden, J.; Keijl, G. O.; Ruiters, P. S.; Koolhaas, A.; Dekinga, A.; Chernichko, I. I. 2006. Fast fuelling but light flight in Broad-billed Sandpipers Limicola falcinellus: stopover ecology at a final take-off site in spring (Sivash, Ukraine). Ibis 148: 211-220.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species account from Birds in Europe: population estimates trends and conservation status (BirdLife International 2004)

Detailed species account from Birds in Europe: population estimates, trends and conservation status (BirdLife International 2004)

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Malpas, L.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Calidris falcinellus. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Scolopacidae (Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes)
Species name author (Pontoppidan, 1763)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 1,010,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment