Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)

Order : Gruiformes
Traditionally there were about 12 wading and terrestrial bird families that did not seem to belong to any other order and were classified together as Gruiformes. These include the Buzzards, Cranes, Crakes, Rails and Buttonquails. Recent DNA analysis however shows that they are more closely related to each other than to any other bird and the order has remained surprisingly intact.

Family : Rails (Rallidae)
Consisting of about 134 species in 33 genera the Rallidae family has, in some circles, been alleviated to that of ordinal status (Ralliformes). Most members inhabit damp environments near lakes, swamps or rivers with reedbeds being a favoured habitat. Most nest in dense vegetation and are generally shy, secretive birds. Island species often become flightless, preferring to run or swim from danger than taking to wing, and most are more likely to be heard than seen. Numbers are threatened due to the introduction of terrestrial predators such as cats and rats.

Name : Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)
Length : 37 - 45 cm ( 14 - 18 in )

The Whibrel is a widespread wader breeding across much of sub arctic North America, Europe and Asia. It’s a migratory species, wintering in Africa, South America, including the Caribbean and southern North America, south Asia and Australasia. It is patterned grey brown above, underparts turning white on the belly, the long bill being decurved. The species feeds by probing soft mud for small invertebrates and by picking small crab and similar prey off the surface. Berries forming an important part of their diet prior to migration. The nest is a bare scrape on tundra or arctic moorland where 3 - 5 eggs are laid. Adults are very defensive of the nest even attacking humans who venture too close.

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Bird identification images

Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) Birds of Tobago

Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) wetland birds

Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) Mangrove forest birds