Spoon-bill sandpiper is a hard animal to spot in the wild. That’s because in its native eastern Russia there are only 100 breeding pairs left.
Post-breeding is an even harder thing to catch, but the Cornell Lab of Ornithology managed to film some brand spanking-new sandpiper chicks as they take their first steps and explore their new windswept habitat.
Birds often have strange and unique social and family structures, and the spoon-bill is no exception. Mom is actually the one who takes off once the eggs hatch, flying south while dad sticks around to watch over the chicks. And they’re a handful; the chicks are mobile almost immediately, and start foraging the grassland to feed themselves on their first day of life. Once they’re fully confident on their little feet, dad will lead them away from the nest never to return.
Videographer Gerrit Vyn talks us through the first few days the chicks spend on the planet.