Calidris ferruginea   (Pontoppidan,  1763) (Bird)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Aves

Image copyrights: Pbase

Size: 18-23 cm; Length 18-20 cm.

Color: Grey above with paler edges to feathers; face and sides of chest mottled grey; below and superciliary stripe white; upper tail-coverts all white; white wing-stripe; breeding bird above dark mottled chestnut and buff; below deep reddish chestnut; around bill and crissum white; transitional bird mottled chestnut below. Immature dark above with paler edges to feathers; pale cinnamon wash on breast. Bare parts: iris dark brown; bill longish and decurved near tip, black; feet and legs relatively long, greyish to olive brown.

Habits: Gregarious, oftern in flocks with other waders, while foraging runs over wet mud near the edges, feeds by pecking or probing.

Sexes alike. Often confused with Dunlin but differs by its slight larger size, longer legs and similarly downcurved but more slender bill. In flight, it is distinguished by its white tail-coverts. Non-breeding (winter): Upperparts mottled grey-brown. Underparts white, with brownish wash and streaks on breast. Breeding (summer): Upper and underparts mainly chestnut and rich rufous, crown and mantle grey-brown, fairly distinct supercilium from the forehead to nape. Underparts white.

Nest- The nest is a cup positioned on the margins of marshes or pools.

Synonym (s)
Calidris testaceus (Pallas, 1764)

Common Name (s)
• Curlew Sandpiper (English)
• Curlew sanspiper (English)
• Vankichanch, Shwethpith khichdiyo (Gujrati)
• Mooku ullan (Tamil)
• Curlew-Sandpiper (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Threats:  Natural threats
(This species is susceptible to avian influenza and avian botulism so may be threatened by future outbreaks of these diseases.)
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(The species is threatened on the south-east coast of India (Point Calimere) by illegal hunting (bird trapping), reservoir and marshland habitat alteration by salt-industries, and habitat degradation by diminishing rainfall (changing the salt regime).)

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Estuarine, Sandy, Muddy, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Carnivorous, comprising molluscs, crustaceans and worms.
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• Andaman & Nicobar Islands INDIA
• West coast INDIA
• Goa, Agarwaddo marshes INDIA (Record: 09/04/1983)
• Goa, Morjim beach INDIA
• Goa, Chapora estuary INDIA
• Goa, Nerul marshes INDIA
• Goa, Chorao INDIA
• Goa, Divar INDIA
• Goa, Santa Cruz INDIA
• Goa, Miramar beach INDIA
• Kerala, Kol wetlands (Lat: 10.66) (Long: 76.18) INDIA
• Kerala, Kol wetlands (Lat: 10.33) (Long: 75.96) INDIA
• Goa, Mandovi estuary INDIA
• Orissa, Bhitarkanika INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Point Calimere (Lat: 10.3) (Long: 79.85) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Pulicat Lake (Lat: 13.67) (Long: 80.17) INDIA
• Arunachal Pradesh, Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary INDIA
• Delhi, Okhla barrage bird sanctuary INDIA
• Gujarat, Bet Dwarka INDIA
• Gujarat, Mahi River estuary INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Available at -
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Kumar, A; Sati, JP; Tak, PC and Alfred, JRB (2005) Handbook on Indian wetland birds and their conservation Zoological Survey of India, Dehra Dun 468 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Lainer, H (2004) Birds of Goa : A reference book The Goa Foundation, Goa 244 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • PBase Available at -
  • Nameer, PO (2005) Wetlands and waterfowl conservation in kerala with special reference to Ramsar sites kerala environment congress 2005 Centre for environment and development 97-112 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Borges, SD and Shanbhag, AB (2008) Food resource partitioning among waterbirds wintering on the Diwar wetland in the Mandove estuary of Goa, India Proceedings of Taal2007:The 12th World Lake conference 124-130 Available at -
  • Vernacular names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent Buceros, Envis newsletter: Avian Ecology & Inland Wetlands 62pp Available at -
  • Kumar P and Gupta SK (2009) Diversity and Abundance of Wetland Birds around Kurukshetra, India Our Nature 7 212-217 Available at -
  • Nayak, A.K. (2006) Status of migratory shorebirds at Bhitarkanika and Chilika wetlands on the east coast of India Waterbirds around the world. Eds. G.C. Boere, C.A. Galbraith & D.A. Stroud The Stationery Office, Edinburgh, UK 305-307pp Available at -
  • Lal Mohan RS (1986) Birds and Bird Catchers Of Ramanathapuram Coast Available at -
  • Kumar A, sati JP and Tak CK (2003) Checklist of Indian Waterbids Buceros Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetlands 8(1) 30pp Available at -
  • Manakadan R and Pittie A (2001) Standardized English names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent BUCEROS Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetland 6(1) 26pp Available at -
  • Balachandran, S (2006) The decline in wader populations along the east coast of India with special reference to Point Calimere, south-east India. Waterbirds around the world. Eds. G.C. Boere, C.A. Galbraith & D.A. Stroud The Stationery Office, Edinburgh, UK. 296-301pp Available at -
  • Sivaperuman C and Jayson EA (2000) Birds of Kol wetland, Thrissur, Kerala Zoo's print journal 15(10) 344-349pp Available at -
  • Rao VV, Anjaneyulu M, Nagulu V, Srinivasulu C and Satyanarayana D (2004) Water fowl Status at Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh EPTRI - ENVIS Newsletter 10(4) 7-12pp Available at -,%20No.4,%202004.pdf
  • Gopi GV and Pandav B (2007) Avifauna of Bhitarkanika Mangroves, India Zoo's print journal 22(10) 2839-2847pp Available at -
  • Urfi AJ (2003) The birds of Okhla barrage bird sanctuary, Delhi, India Forktail 19 39-50pp Available at -
  • Urfi AJ (2002) Waders and other wetland birds on Byet Dwarka Island, Gulf of Kutch, western India Wader Study Group Bull. 31-34 Available at -
  • Pandya PJ and Vachhrajani KD (2010) Birds of Mahi River estuary, Gujarat, India Journal of Threatened Taxa 2(6) 994-1000pp Available at -
  • Ali S and Ripley SD (1969) Handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan Oxford university press 2 1-337pp Available at - NIO

Page last updated on:2013-01-31

Back to Search