Little Curlew, Numenius minutus

The Little Curlew (Numenius minutus) is a wader belonging to the large bird family Scolopacidae. It’s a very small curlew, which breeds in the far northern parts of Siberia. It’s closely related to the North American Eskimo Curlew.

This is a strongly migratory species, spending its winters in Australasia. It is a rare vagrant to the western part of Europe.

This bird breeds in loosely concentrated colonies in forest clearings in river valleys. Its nest is a ground scrape. It winters inland on grassland, cultivation, or near fresh water, mostly in northern Australia but also as far south as St Kilda, South Australia. It is gregarious, creating sizable flocks. This species feeds by probing soft mud for small sized invertebrates.

It is mainly grayish brown colored, including the underwings, with a white belly, and a short (for a curlew) curved bill. It has a head pattern similar to a Whimbrel, with crown and superciliary stripes. The call is a repeated whistle.

Image Caption: Little Curlew Numenius minutus. Credit: Wayne Cheng/Wikipedia (CC BY 2.0)