Curlew (Asiatic whimbrel) Numenius phaeopus variegatus
Species: N. phaeopus
Subspecies: N. phaeopus ssp.variegatus
Binomial name: Numenius phaeopus variegatus
Synonyms: Tantalus variegates, Scolopax luzoniensis, Numenius atricapillus, Scolopax luzoniensis, Numenius uropygialis, Limosa uropygialis, Numenius variegates, Phaeopus phaeopus variegates,
Common name: Asiatic whimbrel, Siberian whimbrel
Numenius phaeopus ssp. variegates (Asiatic whimbrel) is a rare (New Zealand) migrant wading bird that nests in Siberia and northern parts of Europe. Only about 150 of these birds migrate each summer to New Zealand. Though they can be widespread throughout New Zealand’s estuaries most are recorded in the large northern harbours and on Farewell Spit.
They are a very wary bird that roost at the edge of godwit flocks and they are difficult to approach. They are the same size as a godwit but are distinguishable by their decurved bill. Their body length is 42cm (bill tip to tail).
They feed on marine worms and crabs that they find in the mud with their decurved bill.
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