Sunday, May 2, 2021

Hudsonian Whimbrel

There are two species of whimbrel, the Eurasian whimbrel and the Hudsonian whimbrel. The Hudsonian whimbrel, found in North and South America, is migratory: It winters in South America and the coasts of southern North America and spends the summers and breeds in the sub-Arctic of North America. In the map from Wikipedia below, showing its range, the blue shows its wintering range, the orange its summer (breeding) range and yellow shows its migratory stopping areas. Note a yellow spot in Southern California that includes the Salton Sea, where I saw a field with quite a few whimbrels yesterday, feeding on left-over grain (I assume) off of Vendel Road near the Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR, unit 1. 

This is the best of my photos. 
They were quite a distance from me so my photos are not real sharp. 

It is a wader and related to the curlews. It is mostly brown with some gray, has a striped head and a curved bill with a kink rather than a smooth curve. It usually probes mud for small invertebrates and will eat small crabs and similar prey off the surface. Its bill is perfectly curved for fiddler crab burrows which it extracts, washes off the mud and sometimes even removes the legs and claws. 

1 comment:

  1. Crazy range--from the tip of South America to Alaska? Wow. That is a LOT of flying.