Animals -> Birds -> Shorebirds -> Whimbrel


The Whimbrel is known to have nested along the edge of the Mackenzie River, especially close to the tree line. While women and children raided the nests for eggs, older boys accompanied the men in hunting adult birds. Bow and arrow were used by cultures in the Yukon and Northwest Territories [1]. Whimbrels were also reported to have been hunted by Mackenzie Inuvialuit [2].


1.         Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada: The Canadian Indian: Yukon and Northwest Territories. Ottawa: Information Canada; 1973.

2.         Friesen TM, Arnold CD: Zooarchaeology of a focal resource: Dietary importance of Beluga Whales to the Precontact Mackenzie Inuit. Arctic 1995, 48(1):22-30.

The Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) is a large shorebird with two distinct North American breeding populations, one to the west in Alaska, Yukon, and northwestern Northwest Territory, and one to the east along the western Hudson Bay. They are part of a large family of wading and probing shorebirds including sandpipers, snipes, phalaropes, yellowlegs, woodcocks, godwits, and dowitchers. They weigh between 300 and 500 g and have a distinct very long, curved, dark bill, which they use to feed on insects, fruits and flowers during the breeding season and aquatic invertebrates at others times. Whimbrels also have long bluish legs and feet, and a mostly mottled brown plumage with a paler band above the eyes.


Skeel MA, Mallory EP: Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus). In: The Birds of North America Online. Edited by Poole A. Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; 1996.


Distribution maps provided below, unless otherwise stated, were obtained from Birds of North America Online, maintained by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and all pictures provided below were obtained from Encyclopedia of Life
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