Family Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Near Threatened

Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)


French: Bécasseau cocorli German: Sichelstrandläufer Spanish: Correlimos zarapitín

Tringa Ferrugineus


, 1763,

Christiansø, off Bornholm, Denmark


Formerly placed in genus Erolia. Specific name formerly listed as testacea, but ferruginea has priority. Form described as C. paramelanotos (“Cox’s Sandpiper”) shown to be a hybrid between present species and (almost certainly) C. melanotos; C. (Pisobia) cooperi (“Cooper’s Sandpiper”) probably a hybrid between present species and C. acuminata. Monotypic.


Arctic Siberia from Yamal Peninsula to Kolyuchinskaya Gulf (N Chukotskiy Peninsula). Winters from sub-Saharan Africa through Middle East and S & SE Asia to Australasia.

Descriptive notes

18–23 cm; 44–117 g; wingspan 38–46 cm. Medium-sized sandpiper with longish neck and legs, and long, decurved bill; head, neck and all underparts rusty... read more


Gives a pleasant, soft, twittering “chirrip”, “chirrup” or “chirririp” in flight, similar to... read more


Breeds in lowlands of high Arctic, along coasts and on islands in Arctic Ocean, on open tundra with... read more

Food and feeding

On breeding grounds, mainly insects, including adults, pupae and larvae, especially of Diptera and beetles; also bugs and leeches. Feeds by... read more


Nests Jun–Jul. Density 2·3 nests/km², but may exceed 50 birds/km²; nests sometimes 200–300 m apart. Nest at... read more


Migratory. In W Palearctic three major routes: to White Sea, along W European coasts to W Africa;... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Global population estimated at 1,085,000–1,285,000 individuals. Population wintering in W Africa and SW... read more

Recommended citation

Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 26 February 2020).