Born to fly

The life, journey, and trials of a migratory bird

Birdlife International, Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force

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Birdlife International,
Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force

Project type:

Data story


Editorial writing
Data visualisations
Social media

See live website

Take flight with the spoon-billed sandpiper along its migratory route on the East Asian–Australasian Flyway. Learn about efforts to conserve the species in this interactive, map-based data story.

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About the project

Leading bird conservation organisation BirdLife International and the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force partnered with us to produce an interactive, map-based story starring the migratory journey of the spoon-billed sandpiper and its fellow avian voyagers.

The challenge

Getting people to care about bird conservation

Bird conservation is a niche area of interest. Birders aside, the general public tends to know or care little about the types of migratory birds and the importance of wetlands as their resting grounds.

Producing a data-driven story for the general reader

BirdLife International and the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force both have lots of data, media, and research on migratory birds. Most of it stays within scientific circles, and we wanted to get it out to general readers interested in bird migration. We needed engaging narratives and dynamic data visualisations to make the story interesting.

Ensuring rigor in data

Along with BirdLife International, we consulted with experts on the bird species to ensure that our data was accurate and up-to-date.

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Our creative solution

The story begins with the birth of a spoon-billed sandpiper. As readers accompany it on its migratory journey, they witness the difficulties the sandpiper encounters, made worse by human activities destroying its habitats.

Blending storytelling with hand-drawn illustrations, the story encourages empathy and guides readers’ understanding of the importance of conservation in a natural and even-handed way.

We consulted with our partners to streamline, fact-check, and breathe life into their data. We then weaved this data into the story as interactive map routes and icons.

Visually absorbing, the final story has informed and delighted casual readers and experts alike.

Our partners

BirdLife International is a global partnership of 115 conservation organisations (NGOs) that strives to conserve birds, their habitats, and global biodiversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources.

The Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force works to coordinate the conservation activities identified under the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Single Species Action Plan for the species commissioned by BirdLife International. The Plan is regularly updated in consultation with leading experts worldwide.

You’ve done the work. Now let us make it exceptional.

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