The fastidious whimbrel sometimes washes off its prey before it eats it.
Whimbrel Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Numenius phaeopus, Numenius hudsonicus
Whimbrel Physical Characteristics
Brown, Grey, White
At least 1.8 million and decreasing. Still, conservation status least concern.
12-24 years
Top speed
22 mph
9.5-17.4 ounces
Whimbrel Distribition

” The whimbrel is a broad- varying shorebird.”

The unshowy appearances of this shorebird– its lengthy, rounded expense is just fascinating and absolutely nothing as spectacular as a toucan’s– conceals its large endurance. Annually the whimbrel moves from its Arctic reproducing premises to its winter months environment in position as far southern as Bolivia or Australia and afterwards back once more. Throughout its movement it might require to prevent storms and tropical storms and invest weeks in some seaside means terminal fattening up prior to it flies once more.

4 Remarkable Realities Regarding the Whimbrel

  1. The whimbrel is a sort of curlew, a wading bird that comes from the genus Numenius.
  2. Whether N. hudsonicus and N. phaeopus are in fact various species is open to question. There are minor distinctions in their genes and quill.
  3. These birds safeguard regions as huge as 90 acres.
  4. When it involves insects, whimbrels like blue tiger butterflies.

Where To Discover the Whimbrel

This is a bird with a really variety and can be discovered in locations of Asia, Europe and The United States and Canada that exist simply below the Polar circle. It likewise moves down right into southerly and southeast Asia, Australia and Africa. It is discovered on both rough and sandy coastlines, on the Arctic expanse throughout the reproducing period, in marshes near the shore and in areas and on hills.

Whimbrel Nests

The whimbrel nest is simply a hollow scratched out of the ground in the expanse. It is concealed by the yards and mosses that border it.

Scientific Name

The Eurasian whimbrel’s scientific name is Numenius phaeopus, while the Hudsonia whimbrel’s scientific name is Numenius hudsonicus Numenius is Greek for a bird called by the historian Hesychius of Miletus. It probably originates from words for “brand-new moon” which are neos and menes The minor contour of the bird’s expense advised individuals of the crescent form of the brand-new moon. Phaeopuis is stemmed from words phaois, which suggests “dusky,” and pous, which suggests “foot.” Hudsonicus suggests “of the Hudson Bay location.” When it comes to whimbrel, the name is stated to look like the bird’s trilling telephone call.

The Eurasian whimbrel has 5 subspecies. They are:

  1. N. p. islandicus
  2. N. p. phaeopus
  3. N. p. alboaxillaris
  4. N. p. rogachevae
  5. N. p. variegatus

The Hudsonian whimbrel has 2 subspecies. They are:

  1. N. h. rufiventris
  2. N. h. hudsonicus


The whimbrel is a crow- sized bird, regarding 15 to 19 inches long with a 30 to 35- inch wingspan. This makes it huge for a shorebird. Like the majority of curlews, its pigmentation is a little bit shabby, with streaked grayish- brownish and white plumes and brownish red stripes on the head. Its superior function is its lengthy, somewhat rounded expense, which can have a mild twist in it and has a tendency to be much longer in expanded females. Whimbrels normally evaluate in between 9.5 and 17.4 ounces. As waders, they have long, stilt- like legs, and their feet are simply somewhat webbed. Adolescent birds are a little bit brighter in shade, and their beaks are much shorter.

Whimbrel in flight
The whimbrel’s wingspan standards 30- 35 inches.WildWoodMan/Shutterstock.com

Whimbrel Habits

Whimbrels invest a lot of their time foraging in groups. They utilize their lengthy beaks to penetrate with mud or sand for little invertebrates such as crabs, crayfish, sand shrimp and snails. Though they are normally skeptical, whimbrels can safeguard their nests aggressively throughout the reproducing period and will certainly also fly out at humans that come as well close.

Whimbrel Diet

The whimbrel’s diet is comprised of worms, shellfishes, fish and mollusks. When this target is not bountiful they’ll likewise eat insects, berries and seeds prior to they start their movement. They not just clean the mud and sand off of bigger crabs yet manage the biggest claw prior to they eat it.

Predators and Hazards

Whimbrel’s primary predators are predators such as eagles and foxes, yet the whimbrel is evasive target. It is attentive and will certainly offer an alarm system telephone call if it sees a prospective risk. This not just cautions various other whimbrels of threat yet various other waders and shorebirds in its location. Humans obviously, likewise influence the populaces of whimbrels by draining pipes and building on the locations they overwinter and reproduce. Individuals utilized to also search whimbrels for food, and their numbers do not appear to have actually recuperated although they are no more thoroughly pursued in The United States and Canada.

Recreation, Infants, and Life Expectancy

Throughout the breeding period, the male locates a nesting website on the expanse and flies acrobatically above and around it, asking for an interested female and advising off various other males. The birds not just roost in groups of conspecifics yet various other waders and shorebirds also.

Whimbrels participate in dating routines where they might increase their tail and dip their busts. Once they pair, whimbrels are virginal for that reproducing period and can be virginal for numerous much more. The nest is a clinical depression in the ground that’s lined with plant life. It has to do with 5.6 inches in size and 1.5 inches deep. The female lays 2 to 4 blue- environment-friendly eggs that might be splotched with brownish, and both moms and dads nurture the eggs for the 22 to 32 days it takes them to hatch out. They both likewise strongly safeguard the nest with endangering telephone calls, divebombing and chasing after.

Whimbrel chicks are precocial, and after they dry out off and their down is fluffy they leave the nest and go and conceal in some neighboring underbrush. Their moms and dads do not need to feed them yet still secure them and lead them to food up until they fledge, which is 35 to 40 days after they hatch out. Once more, both moms and dads look after the chicks. The life-span of a whimbrel varies from 12 to as long as 24 years.

Whimbrel Populace

Preservationists approximate there have to do with 1.8 million grown-up whimbrels since 2017, yet there might be much more because the birds are in some cases tough to locate. The bird’s conservation status is least concern.


  1. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_whimbrel
  2. Datazone, Available here: http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/whimbrel-numenius-phaeopus
  3. Espace, Available here: https://m.espacepourlavie.ca/en/biodome-fauna/whimbrel
  4. Bird Conservancy, Available here: https://pif.birdconservancy.org/ACAD/Database.aspx
  5. William & Mary, Available here: https://www.wm.edu/news/stories/2008/winnie-the-whimbrel.php
  6. Manomet, Available here: https://www.manomet.org/publication/whimbrel-migration-summer-2020-update/

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