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IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

One of the most wide-ranging shorebirds in the world, the Whimbrel breeds in the Arctic in the eastern and western hemispheres, and migrates to South America, Africa, south Asia, and Australia. It uses its long, down-curved bill to probe deep in the sand of beaches for invertebrates, but also feeds on berries and insects.

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Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Large shorebird.
  • Long, down-curved bill.
  • Long neck.
  • Long legs.
  • Streaked and buffy overall.
  • Crown dark with a distinct light stripe in the middle.

Immature Description

Similar to adult, but back with light spots, crown stripe less distinct, breast more buff, and with finer streaking on neck and chest.

Range Map Help

Whimbrel Range Map
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Field MarksHelp

Similar Species

  • Long-billed Curlew has an extremely long bill, lacks the dark crown striping, has a buff belly, and is cinnamon-colored under the wings.
  • Bristle-thighed Curlew has a bright cinnamon rump and upper tail.