This video of spoon-billed sandpiper chicks would be pretty freakin’ adorable regardless of circumstances. Look how they pop out from under mom and then tool around being all fluffy! But there’s an added frisson when you know that this is probably the only video of its kind, because there are only 100 breeding pairs of spoon-billed sandpiper in the wild.
Obviously, the sandpipers are super self-reliant even from babyhood — these just-hatched chicks are actually going on a foraging expedition, because they can feed themselves from birth. But no amount of personal discipline can save a species from hunting by humans, or from the destruction of the wetlands the birds use as rest stops on their migration route.
OK, now we’re depressed. Time to watch the baby birds again!
Get Grist in your inbox