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Order Waders, Gulls, Skuas/Charadriiformes, Family Sandpipers/Scolopacidae

Whimbrel/Numenius phaeopus - Adult

The Whimbrel   is one of the most widespread of the curlews, breeding across much of subarctic North America, Europe and Asia as far south as Scotland.

This is a migratory species wintering on coasts in Africa, South America, south Asia into Australasia and southern North America. It is also a coastal bird during migration.[2] It is fairly gregarious outside the breeding season.

Description

This is a fairly large wader though mid-sized as a member of the curlew genus. It is 37–47 cm (15–19 in) in length, 75–90 cm (30–35 in) and 270–493 g (9.5–17.4 oz) in weight.[3] It is mainly greyish brown, with a white back and rump (subspecies N. p. phaeopus and N. p. alboaxillaris only), and a long curved bill (longest in the adult female) with a kink rather than a smooth curve. It is generally wary. The usual call is a rippling whistle, prolonged into a trill for the song.

The only similar common species over most of this bird's range are larger curlews. The Whimbrel is smaller, has a shorter, decurved bill and has a central crown stripe and strong supercilia.

Subspecies

There are four subspecies:

Numenius phaeopus phaeopus - northern Europe, northwestern Asia

Numenius phaeopus variegatus - northeastern Asia

Numenius phaeopus alboaxillaris - central Asia (rare, endangered)

Numenius phaeopus hudsonicus (Hudsonian Curlew) - northern North America

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numenius_phaeopus

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