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Whimbrel Bird

Identification of Whimbrel Bird

Whimbrel Bird 1 Length: 40-42cm Wingspan: 76-89cm Call: "puhuhuhuhuh"

Whimbrel Bird is similar to the Curlew, slightly smaller with a shorter bill that decurves more strongly in its distal third. Whimbrel bird has a bolder head pattern, with a prominent narrow pale crown-stripe, contrasting with dark sides to the crown, a pale supercilium offset by the crown pattern, dark lores and eye-stripe in front of the eye. The plumage is very similar to that of the Curlew, with a contrasting white rump, but the Whimbrel bird has shorter legs and is generally darker.

Habitat of Whimbrel Bird

Whimbrel bird breeds in the Arctic and boreal zones, typically in fairly dry areas on mountains and moorland above the tree-line, tundra and taiga bogs, cranberry scrub, and on vegetated lava flows and wetter moorland in Iceland. Outside the breeding season, whimbrel bird may be encountered in our region as a migrant, but most birds migrate overland to tropical shores with few stops en route, and can be found on coastal wetlands, saltpans, mangroves, saltmarshes, inlets, marshes, large rivers, sandy beaches, reefs, pastures and coastal short-grass areas.

Song/call of Whimbrel Bird

Whimbrel Bird 2

The call heard whimbrel bird, most frequently, is a whinnying whistle of a repeated single note, descending over the whole of the phrase. It can sound quite staccato, as "i'i'i'i'i'i'i'i'i", or softer and lower, as "puhuhuhuhuh", and is often heard in flight. It is quite far-carrying and may be heard at night as migrant birds head south across both coastal and inland areas. On the breeding grounds this call is often given with a sharper quality and in a longer sequence, particularly when the bird is anxious. Whimbrel bird has a repertoire of calls similar to those of Curlew, with a bubbling song starting with low drawling notes then accelerating and rising in pitch "err-errr-errr-er' r' rrrr' rrr' d' d'd'd' d' d' 'r'r'r'r", with a harder and less liquid sound than its larger relative, and often in shorter, flatter sequences. It also gives a sharp "kup!", and a plaintive, Golden Plover-like " weeeh' weeh' weeh' weeh' weeeh !".