The Whimbrel is a medium sized curlew, with a length of around 40–45 cm, weight of approximately 350 g and wingspan of 76–89 cm (Higgins & Davies 1996). The Whimbrel is dark brown on the upper half of its body, varyingly spotted with pale fringes. The underside is predominately white with dark coarse brown streaks. Its legs are dull bluish-grey in colour, sometimes with a tinge of green (Higgins & Davies 1996). Adult Whimbrels have a strongly patterned head with a dark brown crown and eye-stripe (Higgins & Davies 1996). Whimbrels exhibit no seasonal variation; however, juveniles and immatures are separable at close range. Of the two subspecies commonly occurring in the Southern Hemisphere, Numenius phaeopus variegates is the only one occurring in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (Higgins & Davies 1996).
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Species Profile and Threats Database, Numenius phaeopus
Threats Top Global threats There are a number of threats that affect migratory shorebirds in the East Asian Australasian Flyway.
Global warming and associated changes in sea level are likely to have a long term impact on the breeding; staging and non breeding grounds of migratory waders (Harding et al. 2007).