Photo by JJ Harrison/Wikimedia Commons

Children are cute. So are Spoon-billed Sandpipers. And when you have adorable children coloring adorable pictures of Spoon-billed Sandpipers for an animated video about saving said Sandpipers, my friends, you have officially pushed the cute meter to the limit.

For proof, check out this behind-the-scenes look at the video-creation process. (Hat tip to Clare M. for the scoop!) The project recruited schoolkids from eight Asian nations, from Russia down to Thailand, to help color in frames of an animation that depicts the lonely and perilous migration of a Spoon-billed Sandpiper as it faces threats from habitat loss and hunting. The project seems to be just as much about the process as about the product, since the coloring sessions were wonderful teachable moments that got kids enthused about saving this Critically Endangered species.

With population estimates in only the triple digits, these special shorebirds need all the help they can get. So do your part by checking out the video, which is liable to make you both tear up and smile. And share it far and wide!


Written by Meredith Mann
The lowly Red-winged Blackbirds in suburban New York triggered Meredith Mann's interest in birds. Five years later, she's explored some of the the USA's coolest hotspots, from Plum Island in Massachusetts to the Magic Hedge in Chicago to the deserts of Fallon, Nevada. She recently migrated from the Windy City (where she proudly served as a Chicago Bird Collision Monitor, rescuing migrants from skyscrapers and sidewalks) to Philadelphia, where she plans to find new editing and writing gigs; keep up her cool-finds chronicle, Blog5B; and discover which cheesesteak really is the best. And she will accept any and all invitations to bird Cape May, NJ.