The spoon-billed sandpiper (Calidris pygmaea) is a small wader which breeds in northeastern Russia and winters in Southeast Asia. This species is highly threatened, and it is said that since the 1970s the breeding population has decreased significantly. By 2000, the estimated breeding population of the species was 350–500.
The most distinctive feature of this species is its spatulatebill. The breeding adult bird is 14–16 cm in length, and has a red-brown head, neck and breast with dark brown streaks. It has blackish upperparts with buff and pale rufous fringing. Non-breeding adults lack the reddish colouration, but have pale brownish-grey upperparts with whitish fringing to the wing-coverts. The underparts are white and the legs are black.
The measurements are; wing 98–106 mm, bill 19–24 mm, bill tip breadth 10–12 mm, tarsus 19–22 mm and tail 37–39 mm.
The contact calls of the spoon-billed sandpiper include a quiet preep or a shrill wheer. The song, given during display, is an intermittent buzzing and descending trill preer-prr-prr. The display flight of the male includes brief hovers, circling and rapid diving while singing.