Turnstone adult on rock

Sandpipers, snipes and phalaropes

The sandpipers, snipes and phalaropes family is a large group of waders with several distinct sub-groups including curlews, godwit, turnstone, sandpipers, woodcock, snipe and phalaropes.

Generally shoreline birds, some wade in shallow water, while others feed on rocky shores. Curlew, whimbrel and godwit are larger waders with mottled brown plumage and long curved or straight beaks. Sandpipers and phalaropes are smaller to medium sized waders with relatively long bills. Many species of wader have seasonal plumages and some are among the World's greatest long-distance migrants travelling annually from the Arctic to Europe, South America, Africa and Australia.

Don't let threatened birds fade away

Will you help us to save our threatened birds? The number of birds at severe risk in the UK has nearly doubled. Our birds are struggling to find safe places to nest and enough food to feed their young. They urgently need our help. Find out about the RSPB’s work to save our threatened birds, and discover simple ways you can help them to thrive. Together, we can save our birds.