The Whimbrel is another common visitor to Singapore’s shorelines. They are a type of migratory species and can be most commonly seen in Singapore between September and November, often at the mudflats of the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Pulau Ubin.
In 2014, a Whimbrel was spotted at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve 19 years after its first appearance in 1995, when scientists have tagged it by attaching a small ring to its leg for research.
This species is a relatively large wader and considered to be mid-sized as a member of the curlew genus. The English name originates from the bird’s call. Moreover, Whimbrels, like other members of the curlew genus, use their long, downward-curving bills to feed on crustaceans and other marine creatures.
Whimbrels have few natural predators except for foxes and large raptors, but their numbers have been reduced due to habitat loss, pollution of shorelines, and people hunting them for sport. Although they are of least concern in terms of conservation status, it still might be important to take more care for the environment to ensure that they also visit Singapore in the future.
- “Whimbrel”. All About Birds. Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
- Birds. Collins Pocket Guide. 1998. p. 156.
- BirdLife International (2012). “Numenius phaeopus”. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2012: e.T22693178A38790708. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2012-1.RLTS.T22693178A38790708.