Whimbrel    Numenius phaeopus


  • Numenius : Greek word noumenia – new moon, Crescent Shaped
  • Phaeopus: Latin word phaios -dusky, brown, grey; pous- foot

Vernacular names: Hindi, Ben: Chhota goungh/gulinda, Bi: Chhota gunyar, Guj: Nani khalili, Ta: Kuthirai thalai kottan, Mal: Tetti kokku, Sinh: Maha watuwa, Mald: Bulithumbi, Bulithunga, Orana, Mar: Lahan Koral

Distribution in India: Widespread Winter Visitor in Coastal area of India

Description: Size of 40-46 cm. It is a medium-sized curlew with a blackish-brown crown with pale central stripe, conspicuous pale Supercilium and mid-sized bill that is curved downwards; upperparts greyish brown with pale spotting; neck and breast finely streaked. Generally darker and greyer above. The female averages slightly larger. The juvenile ia like the adult, but upperparts brown with buff fringes and spots and underparts more buff.

Habitat: It is found in boreal, subarctic and subalpine moorland, birch forest and tundra near tree line, open montane forest and river valleys. In winter found in coastal areas, exposed reefs, muddy, rocky or sandy beaches, rice fields, tidal mudflats and mangrove swamps

Food Habits: They insects, annelids, molluscs, occasionally seeds and berries during breeding. Non-breeding diet includes smaller annelids, bivalves, crustaceans in intertidal areas, fly larvae in grassland; occasionally tadpoles, small fish and fruits. Usually feeds more by pecking than by probing, especially when foraging inland; feeds on crabs by probing in burrows and breaking off limbs prior to consuming them. Generally forages in small groups or singly

Breeding Habits: They breed in May-June in North Europe. Monogamous on long-term basis. Nest usually on dry, elevated sites, often between clumps of grass; depression lined with bits of vegetation and lichens. Lays a clutch of 2–5 eggs. The incubation period is 20–21 days. Incubation done by female at night and male during day. Both parents tend young. The fledging period is 28 days; adults depart soon after young fledge
They are monogamous and solitary with pair-bond often sustained for two or more breeding seasons. Nest is a depression filled with fragments of vegetation, usually in exposed location or amongst short vegetation. Lays a clutch of 2–5 eggs. The incubation period is 22–28 days, by both sexes, but more by female. Both parents care for young. The fledging period is 35–40 days