|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|On today's walk I spotted my first whimbel. We saw the bird while driving on a small rural road. It was walking through a muddy field, chasing worms. The german name is "Regenbrachvogel" which can be translated with "Rain Fallow Land Bird" ... a good descripton indeed! Hope you like it :-)|
Regenbrachvolgel - Whimbrel - Numenius phaeopus
The Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus, is a wader in the large family Scolopacidae. It is the one of the most widespread of the curlews, breeding across much of subarctic North America, Europe and Asia.
This is a migratory species wintering on coasts in Africa, South America, south Asia into Australasia and southern North America. It is fairly gregarious outside the breeding season.
This is a large wader at 37-45 cm length. It is mainly greyish brown, with a white back (European race N. p. phaeopus only), and a long curved bill (longest in the adult female) with a kink rather than a smooth curve. It is generally wary. The familiar call is a rippling whistle.
The only similar common species over most of this bird's range are larger curlews. Whimbrel is smaller, has a shorter bill and has a central crown stripe and strong supercilia.
This species feeds by probing soft mud for small invertebrates and by picking small crabs and similar prey off the surface. Prior to migration, berries become an important part of their diet.
The nest is a bare scrape on tundra or arctic moorland. 3-5 eggs are laid. Adults are very defensive of nesting area and will even attack humans who come too close.
Near the end of the 19th century, hunting on their migration routes took a heavy toll on this bird's numbers; the population has since recovered.
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