Whimbrel, Regenwulp, Regenbrachvogel, Maçarico-galego, Zarapito trinador

Spotted in the Alentejo region of Portugal.                                    Whimbrel sound    

The Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) is a wader in the large family Scolopacidae. It is one of the most widespread of the curlews, breeding across much of subarctic North America, Europe and Asia as far south as Scotland.


More photos at the bottom of this page.

This is a migratory species wintering on coasts in Africa, South America, south Asia into Australasia and southern North America. It is also a coastal bird during migration. It is fairly gregarious outside the breeding season.

This is a fairly large wader though mid-sized as a member of the curlew genus. It is 37–47 cm (15–19 in) in length, 75–90 cm (30–35 in) and 270–493 g (9.5–17.4 oz) in weight. It is mainly greyish brown, with a white back and rump (subspecies N. p. phaeopus and N. p. alboaxillaris only), and a long curved bill (longest in the adult female) with a kink rather than a smooth curve. It is generally wary. The usual call is a rippling whistle, prolonged into a trill for the song.

The only similar common species over most of this bird’s range are larger curlews. The Whimbrel is smaller, has a shorter, decurved bill and has a central crown stripe and strong supercilia.

This species feeds by probing soft mud for small invertebrates and by picking small crabs and similar prey off the surface. Prior to migration, berries become an important part of their diet. It also eats blue butterflies.

The nest is a bare scrape on tundra or Arctic moorland. Three to five eggs are laid. Adults are very defensive of nesting area and will even attack humans who come too close.

Near the end of the 19th century, hunting on their migration routes took a heavy toll on this bird’s numbers; the population has since recovered.

In the British Isles it breeds in Scotland, particularly around Shetland, Orkney, the Outer Hebrides as well as the mainland at Sutherland and Caithness.

The Whimbrel is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.


Other synonyms:

Afrikaans: Kleinwulp
Asturian: Algaraván Marciegu, Algaraván Piqueñu
Breton: Ar c’hefeleg-mae
Catalan: Curlera cantaire, Polit cantaire, Pòlit cantaire
Catalan (Balears): Curlera cantaire
Czech: Koliha malá
Welsh: Coeg gylfinhir, Coeg-gylfinir, Coegyfinir, Coegylfinir
Danish: Lille regnspove, Småspove
German: Regenbrachvogel, Regenbrachvogel-phaeopus
English: Common Whimbrel, Curlew, Eurasian Whimbrel, Western Whimbrel, Whimbrel
Esperanto: malgranda kurlo
Spanish: Playero pico curvo, Playero Picocorvo, Playero trinador, Zarapito, Zarapito de Hudson, Zarapito Real, Zarapito Trinador
Spanish (Argentine): Playero trinador
Spanish (Chile): Zarapito
Spanish (Colombia): Zarapito Trinador
Spanish (Costa Rica): Zarapito Trinador
Spanish (Dominican Rep.): Zarapito Trinador
Spanish (Honduras): Playero pico curvo
Spanish (Mexico): zarapito trinador
Spanish (Nicaragua): Zarapito Trinador
Spanish (Paraguay): Playero trinador
Spanish (Uruguay): Chorlo Trinador, Playero Trinador
Estonian: Väikekoovitaja
Basque: Kurlinta bekaindun, Polit cantaire
Finnish: Pikkukuovi
Faroese: Spógvi
French: Courlis corlieu, Courlis hudsonien, Petit courlis
Irish: Crotach Eanaigh, Crotach shamhraidh
Gaelic: Eun Bealltainn
Galician: Mazarico chiador, Polit cantaire
Guarani: Chululu
Manx: Crottag houree
Haitian Creole French: Kouli
Croatian: Prugasti Pozviždac
Hungarian: Kis póling
Indonesian: Gajahan pengala, Gajahan Penggala, Kololi
Icelandic: Spói
Italian: Chiurlo piccolo
Japanese: Chushaku-shigi, chuushakushigi, Chuushaku-shigi
Cornish: Cok-gelvynak
Latin: Numenius phaeopus, Numenius phaeopus phaeopus, Phaeopus phaeopus
Lithuanian: Mažoji kuolinga, Vidutine kuolinga, Vidutinioji kuolinga
Latvian: Kulainis, Lietuvainis, Mazais kuilis
Malagasy: Kiokioka, Kiokoika, Mantazazana
Malay: Kendi Pisau Raut
Dutch: Regenwulp
Norwegian: Heispove, Småspove
Polish: kulik mniejszy, Szlamnik
Portuguese: batuíra-de-bico-torto, maçaricão, maçarico galega, Macarico galego, maçarico-de-bico-torto, Macarico-galego, Maçarico-galego, maçarico-real, maria-rita
Portuguese (Brazil): batuíra-de-bico-torto, maçaricão, maçarico-de-bico-torto, maçarico-galego, maçarico-real, maria-rita
Romansh: Fliaun pitschen
Scots: Eun bealltainn
Northern Sami: Guškkástat
Slovak: hvizdá, Hvizdák malý, Hvizdák pásavohlahý, Hvizdák pásavohlavý
Slovenian: mali škurh
Albanian: Kojliku mesatar
Serbian: zlatovremenica, zlovremenica srednja
Swedish: Småspov
Swahili: Membe Sautisaba
Xhosa: Ingoyi-ngoyi


Travel Birdwatching Holiday Alentejo, Vacation Portugal for birders to see birds on your trip. Guided Birdwatching Tours & Trips

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