Whimbrel

Numenius phaeopus

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Sandpipers, Phalaropes and Allies (Scolopacidae)

Code 4

WHIM

Code 6

NUMPHA

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Whimbrel is a large wading bird found throughout the subarctic regions of North America, Europe, Asia and Scotland. Breeding grounds are found in the British Isles, particularly Shetland, Orkney, the Outer Hebrides, Sutherland and Caithness. During the winter months, this species will fly to the coasts of Africa, South America, south Asia, Australia and southern North America. Nests are scraped on the ground of the tundra or moorland, and adults are very protective of these. Food is found in the soft mud of the coasts, and this bird mainly dines on small invertebrates, crabs and berries. The conservation rating for the Whimbrel is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Whimbrel: This large long-legged sandpiper has brown and white mottled upperparts and buff underparts with faint streaks on sides and flanks. It has a white-striped black crown. Neck is long and streaked; long black decurved bill, blue-gray legs and feet. Tail and rump are brown and black barred. Diet includes insects and worms. Direct flight with strong fast wing beats. Sexes are similar.


Range and Habitat

Whimbrel: Breeds in much of Alaska and in arctic regions of Canada and Greenland. Migrates along the Atlantic Coast of North America. Winters in Africa, southern coast of North America from California south through Mexico, the West Indies, South America, and south Asia. Preferred habitats include tundra, marshes, prairies, shorelines, and mud flats.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"pip-pip-pip-pip-pip"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Whimbrel is the one of the most widespread of the curlews.
  • Adults are very defensive of their nesting area and will attack humans who come too close.
  • Some migrating birds make a nonstop flight of 2,500 miles from southern Canada or New England to South America.
  • A group of sandpipers has many collective nouns, including a "bind", "contradiction", "fling", "hill", and "time-step" of sandpipers.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Whimbrel

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X