EAAFP WMBD 2020 #legflagChallenge Webinar – “How can legflags on birds guide conservation”

East-Asian Australasian Flyway Partnership, BirdLife International and Oriental Bird Club are honored to invite Dr. Nigel Clark, Scientific Advisor to the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force; Ms. Katherine Leung, Field Ecologist; and Dr. Chi Yeung Choi, Research Assistant Professor, Southern University of Science and Technology, as speakers for this Webinar that aims to raise awareness of the migration of waterbirds in EAA Flyway to the general public.

This webinar introduces the scientific basis of bird ringing and tagging activities, and its importance in helping us understand the ecology of migratory birds. The webinar also aims to encourage birdwatchers, bird photographers and all kinds of citizen scientists to document and report sightings of tagged waterbirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, and be a part of the wider conservation efforts for migratory species in the region.

Title: How can legflags on birds guide conservation

Date: 10 October, 2020 (Saturday)

Time: 4pm KST (7am UST)

Registration Link: https://bit.ly/33bRzJZ



Title: Using the world’s smallest satellite tag to find wintering and stopover sites of the one of the world’s rarest birds; The Spoon-billed Sandpiper

  • Dr. Nigel Clark

Dr. Nigel Clark did his PhD on Dunlin and has worked all his life on migratory shorebirds around the world.  Much of his career was at the British Trust for Ornithology in the UK where he was Head of Projects, but always maintained some research on shorebirds. Since 2008 Nigel has been involved in trying to save Spoon-billed Sandpipers from extinction and is the Scientific Advisor to the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force. He has worked in many of the countries which are home to Spoon-billed Sandpiper over the last decade.

Download the presentation here


The Spoon-billed Sandpiper is one of the world’s rarest migratory birds, breeding on the coast in arctic Russia and wintering from south China to Sri Lanka. A tremendous amount of survey work up to 2015 had found a range of wintering sites but we estimated that we knew where fewer than half wintered and were aware of very few stopover sites. When Microwave Technology developed a new satellite tag that weighed 2 grams we worked with them to modify it to enable us to glue it to the backs of Spoon-billed Sandpipers in the hope that they might lead us to previously unknown wintering sites. The results have been beyond our wildest dreams and have led to new conservation interventions

Photo: © Katherine Leung


Title: Contribution of bird watchers to knowledge of bird migration

  • Ms. Katherine Leung

Ms. Katherine Leung regards herself as “almost a migratory shorebird along the EAAF”. Her migration journey started from Mai Po Nature Reserve in Hong Kong, a renowned wetland reserve for waterbirds where she started her wetland conservation career in 2005 and first experienced bird ringing in 2007. Since then she has been migrating up and down the EAAF annually to spend her holiday as a volunteer on shorebird ringing or flag resighting projects. Her desire to follow the migratory shorebirds eventually lead her to leave her full-time job to spent a year travelling on the EAAF, and vagrant to witness shorebird migration in other flyways. Though her migration in 2020 was localised along the Yellow Sea coast in China, she continues to make connections with the migratory shorebirds and people along the EAAF with flag resighting.

Download the presentation here


Bird migration has been one of the most fascinating natural wonders that human being wanted to understand more about. Tagging of migratory birds using unique engraved leg flags or colour bands which can be identified in the field enable the life history of individual bird to be tracked when it is resighted. This relatively low-cost research method has been introduced to shorebird studies on the EAAF since early 2000. By collecting resighting records of flags or colour bands, birdwatchers take part in solving the big puzzle of shorebird migration as citizen scientists.

Photo: © Dr. Chi-Yeung Choi

Title: Importance of Bird ringing and tagging

  • Dr. Chi Yeung Choi

Dr, Chi-Yeung “Jimmy” Choi is an applied ecologist with expertise in animal ecology, conservation biology, wetland ecology and environmental management. He studies the relationship between animals and their environment. Current study systems include the ecology of migratory birds, with a focus on their foraging and movement ecology within and between coastal intertidal wetlands. This has led to investigations of diet, habitat use, local movement, population dynamics, migration phenology and strategies, often using the latest technology in wildlife tracking and remote sensing. His work provides the important scientific basis for conservation actions and recommendations to improve the conservation of migratory birds and their wetlands.

Download the presentation here


Bird ringing and tagging are important ways to study bird migration. Researchers and enthusiastic individuals have been ringing migratory waterbirds along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway since the 1960s and tracking migratory waterbirds from the 1990s. This has become a more regular effort in recent years and the results generated have led to many interesting stories. Some of the findings have also formed the important scientific basis for conservation and management effort. Jimmy’s talk will provide a few examples to illustrate these.


Dr. Ding Li Yong

Asia Advocacy and Policy Manager, BirdLife International (Asia)

Mr. Sayam U. Chowdhury 

Conservation Biologist, Assistant Coordinator of Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force


EAAFP WMBD 2020 #legflagChallenge Webinar – “How can legflags on birds guide conservation”

Post a comment