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© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki. Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.

Terek Sandpiper

Xenus cinereus

  • Family: Sandpipers – Scolopacidae
  • Appearance: Resembles Common Sandpiper, but long bill visibly upturned. Upper parts brownish grey. White trailing edge to wings. Underparts white to chest. Faint streaking usually evident on neck and breast.
  • Size: Length 22–25 cm, wingspan 57–59 cm, weight 60–78 g.
  • Nest: In a shallow depression on sandy ground, lined with straw, leaves and bark fragments.
  • Breeding: 4 eggs laid in May, incubated by both parents for 20–21 days. Fledglings learn to fly within 15 days.
  • Distribution: Very rare breeder around the coasts of the Bothnian Bay, also occasionally in North Karelia and by Lake Kemijärvi. Main breeding range extends eastwards from the White Sea through the Eurasian coniferous forest zone. Finnish breeding population estimated at just 3–5 pairs.
  • Migration: May be seen in Finland from May to early September. Winters in East Africa, Southern Asia and Australia.
  • Diet: Invertebrates.
  • Calls: A rapid, quivering “vibibibibi”. Noisy around nesting site.
  • Endangerment: Critically endangered, protected in Finland. Globally Least concern.

Terek’s Sandpipers look quite like Common Sandpipers, but their long bills are visibly upturned. Their upper parts are brownish grey, with a black lengthwise stripe over each wing. Their necks and breasts are pale grey with speckling, but their other underparts are white. Their wings have white trailing edges (similar to the markings on Redshanks’ wings, but narrower). Their legs are orange (adults) or yellow (juveniles), their bills are black with a yellow base, and their irises are blackish brown.

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