Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus, photographed by Juan Pedro Paz-Soldán.

Belongs within: Scolopacidae.

Numenius contains the curlews and whimbrels, relatively large shorebirds with long, strongly downcurved bills. The whimbrel Numenius phaeopus, bristle-thighed curlew N. tahitiensis and slender-billed curlew N. tenuirostris have the bill straighter at the base than other species, with a sharper down-curve towards the end; the remaining species have the entire bill more evenly curved.

Characters (from Ridgway 1887): Bill decidedly arched or decurved; wings at least 200 mm long; back of tarsus covered with small hexagonal scales.

<==Numenius Brisson 1760 M02
    |  i. s.: N. antiquus Milne-Edwards 1868 M02
    |         N. borealis FP64
    |         N. minor S66
    |         N. tenuirostris Vieillot 1817 I92
    |--+--N. phaeopus (Linnaeus 1758) JT12, M02 [=Scolopax phaeopus M02]
    |  |    |--N. p. phaeopus R85
    |  |    |--N. p. hudsonicus Latham 1790 R85
    |  |    `--N. p. variegatus (Scopoli 1786) R85 [incl. N. uropygialis S13]
    |  `--N. tahitiensis (Gmelin 1789) JT12, R85
    `--+--N. americanus JT12
       `--+--N. madagascariensis (Linné 1766) JT12, I92 [=Scolopax madagascariensis WS48]
          `--+--N. arquata (Linnaeus 1758) JT12, M02 [=Scolopax arquata M02]
             |    |--N. a. arquata M03
             |    `--N. a. orientalis M03
             `--N. minutus Gould 1841 JT12, I92

*Type species of generic name indicated


[FP64] Fisher, J., & R. T. Peterson. 1964. The World of Birds: A comprehensive guide to general ornithology. Macdonald: London.

[I92] Iwahashi, J. (ed.) 1992. Reddo Deeta Animaruzu: a pictorial of Japanese fauna facing extinction. JICC: Tokyo.

[JT12] Jetz, W., G. H. Thomas, J. B. Joy, K. Hartmann & A. Ø. Mooers. 2012. The global diversity of birds in space and time. Nature 491: 444-448.

[M02] Mlíkovský, J. 2002. Cenozoic Birds of the World. Part 1: Europe. Ninox Press: Praha.

[M03] Morcombe, M. 2003. Field Guide to Australian Birds, 2nd ed. Steve Parish Publishing.

Ridgway, R. 1887. A Manual of North American Birds. J. B. Lippincott Company: Philadelphia.

[R85] Robertson, C. J. R. (ed.) 1985. Reader’s Digest Complete Book of New Zealand Birds. Reader’s Digest: Sydney.

[S13] Sarasin, F. 1913. Die Vögel Neu-Caledoniens und der Loyalty-Inseln. In Nova Caledonia: Forschungen in Neu-Caledonian und auf den Loyalty-Inseln. A. Zoologie vol. 1, Heft I (F. Sarasin & J. Roux, eds) pp. 1-78, pl. 1-3. C. W. Kreidels Verlag: Wiesbaden.

[S66] Sclater, P. L. 1866. Remarks on recent additions to the Society's menagerie. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 203.

[WS48] Whittell, H. M. & D. L. Serventy. 1948. A systematic list of the birds of Western Australia. Public Library, Museum and Art Gallery of Western Australia, Special Publication 1: 1-126.

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