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Little Curlew - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Hans&Judy Beste
Ballina, New South Wales, Australia, September 2016
Numenius minutus


28–34 cm (11-13¼ in)

  • Greyish-brown, including the underwings
  • White belly
  • Short, curved bill


Photo © by Godwin Chan
Hong Kong, April 2020

Breeds Siberia; winters to Philippines, Indonesia and northern Australia.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Forest clearings in river valleys, grassy wetlands, lagoons and billabongs. They breed in montane taiga.



The nest is a ground scrape, lined with grass. Their clutch contains 3-4 eggs; both adults incubate the eggs for 22-23 days. Fledging occurs after 5 weeks.


Their varied diet consists of insects, including small invertebrates, grasshoppers, ants, crickets, beetles, weevils, caterpillars and spiders etc. They also eat some vegetable matter such as seeds, rice husks and berries.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Van Gils, J., P. Wiersma, and G. M. Kirwan (2020). Little Curlew (Numenius minutus), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.litcur.01
  3. BF Member observations

Recommended Citation

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