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An Imperial Beach Hidden Gem and Bird of the Week, the Whimbrel

Oct 12, 2017 11:06AM ● Published by Paul Spear

Gallery: An Imperial Beach Hidden Gem and Bird of the Week, Bryan Brillhart Photography present the “Dig IB” Bird of the Week, the Whimbrel [10 Images] Click any image to expand.

An Imperial Beach Hidden Gem and Bird of the Week, Bryan Brillhart Photography present the “Dig IB” Bird of the Week, the Whimbrel

Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)

This week’s Bird of the Week is the whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus), a fairly large wader though mid-sized as a member of the curlew genus. The whimbrel is 15–19 inches in length, 30–35 inches in wingspan, and 9.5–17.4 oz in weight. I have seen many of these birds recently in 
 our own Tijuana Estuary. Numbers were seriously depleted by market hunters in late 19th century, but have recovered somewhat since. The whimbrel is the most widespread of the curlews, nesting in the Arctic across North America and Eurasia, wintering on the coasts of six
continents. Whimbrels tend to concentrate in flocks at a few favored spots in migration, so that the observer sees either many of them or else very small numbers. The name “whimbrel," originating in England, apparently began as a loose interpretation of the bird's call. It forages by walking on open flats, picking up items from surface or probing just below surface; despite long bill, does not seem to probe deeply. When feeding on crabs, it may break off legs and crush shells before swallowing the body of the crab.
Downy young leave their nest soon after hatching. Both parents tend young, but young feed themselves. Adults actively attack predators flying over nesting area, and will fly straight at human intruders, swerving aside at last moment. Age of young at first flight is about 5-6 weeks. Check out this bird and the many other species that inhabit our wonderful Tijuana Estuary.
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If you would like to see more of Bryan's Bird Photos you can click on this link:
Bryan Brillhart Photography or Bird of the Week
 
 
Bryan Brillhart

 


 

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