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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Whimbrel

Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)Numenius means "new moon", apparently after the crescent-shaped bill.  

A beautiful curlew, relatively common on Bodega Head rocky shores in winter (although not in large numbers); may also be seen on sandy beaches and tidal flats.  Often feeding with other shorebirds, such as Black Oystercatchers, Surfbirds, and Black Turnstones.


After rain, they sometimes feed in upland sites along the bluffs or in the grassland.



This one caught a porcelain crab (Petrolisthes sp.).  Look closely for the crab near the tip of the bill.  There aren't many other birds that could reach a porcelain crab deep within the mussel bed!


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