Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)
Status in the Checklist Area - (2) Accidental

A bird of the coast often found on rocky shores but also will use beaches, marshes and short-grass fields. Breeds to the north in tundra and migrates south for the winter from California and as far as South America. Feeds on aquatic invertebrates and small crustaceans. Also cited that berries an important late summer food source (Ehrlich et. al. 1988). With the species' tendency for the coast, it is not surprising that we have only two records of this species in our checklist area despite them being an annual sight on the coast not far from us.

Similar species:
Long-billed Curlew, which is almost seen annually in our checklist area, is quite similar to the Whimbrel but the Long-billed Curlew is larger. Also note the Whimbrel's shorter bill, much stronger head markings and brown wings when in flight. See photos below to compare the two species.

Ehrlich, Dobkin and Wheye, (1988)
Sibley, D. 2000

Noteworthy Data
May 6, 2014 Cole Road, Sumas Prairie G. Gadsden 2014
J. Osterhold 2014
G. Monty
Fifty-one birds in a short grass field. Photos below and at FVB Forum. Last day seen, May 10, 2014, 68 birds were counted (Osterhold 2014) .
May 22, 2010 Appel Road, Agassiz M. Brown 2010b Flock of seven birds flying past.
Audio and Video    
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