Photograph by James Wood
Grey brown upperparts spotted white and white underparts streaked with brown. There is
a pale crown stripe and a dark eyestripe. The bill is dark brown with a pale base, long
and curved downward. The legs are long and grey. Both sexes are similar with the female
being larger. The immature are similar to the adult. The size is approximately 44 cm (17
in) and weight 310-493 g (10.94-17.4 ounces).
In Trinidad they are found on mudflats (but avoid very soft mud), along the sea shore and in swamps. They feed on marine invertebrates, especially small crabs, insects and berries. It uses its long, down-curved bill to probe deep in the sand of beaches for invertebrates. With regard to crabs, the curve of the Whimbrel's bill fits the shape of fiddler crab burrows. The bird reaches into the crab's burrow, extracts the crab and sometimes breaks off the claws and legs before swallowing it. If the crab is muddy, they will wash it before eating. Whimbrels are mainly day time feeders, operating in the zone between the high and low tide marks and most active during the high tide.
Family - Sandpiper
Other Names - Hudsonian Curlew
Range - Alaska and northern Canada as far eastward as Hudson Bay, also northern Europe and Russia. Winters on both US coasts, South America, Trinidad and Tobago, also in Africa and India
Movietown seafront, Port of Spain, Trinidad
Mangrove and wetland wildlife at Sungei Buloh Nature Park - http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/birds/Numenius_phaeopus.htm
University of Guelph,Canada's Aquatic Environment- http://www.aquatic.uoguelph.ca/birds/speciesacc/Arctic/Arc_Birds/Scolopacidae/listfrm.htm
Jennings, H. 2005. East Lake Washington Audubon Society at http://www.elwas.org/highlights/data/20050808_220322449
Birds of Nova Scotia. Robie W. Tufts. 1986 - http://museum.gov.ns.ca/mnh/nature/nsbirds/bns0136.htm
Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds, at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/programs/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/Whimbrel.html
Michel Robert, Raymond McNeil and Alain Leduc, 1989. Conditions and Significance of Night Feeding in Shorebirds and Other Waterbirds in a Tropical Lagoon. The Auk, Vol. 106, 94 - 101
Puerto Rico's Birds in Photographs. 2nd edition, Mark Oberle. 2003, Editorial Humanitas, Seattle Washington
Birds of Venezuela. Steven L. Hilty. 2003, Christopher Helm, London
A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago. 2nd edition, Richard ffrench. 1992, Helm, London
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