Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Far eastern curlew

Thai: นกอีก๋อยตะโพกสีน้ำตาล, nok E-koy ta-pok see nam-tan

Binomial name: Numenius madagascariensis, Carolus Linnaeus, 1766

The Far Eastern curlew (Numenius madagascariensis) is a large shorebird most similar in appearance to the long-billed curlew, but slightly larger. It is mostly brown in color, differentiated from other curlews by its plain, unpatterned brown underwing. It is not only the largest curlew but probably the world's largest sandpiper, at 60 - 66 cm in length and 110 cm across the wings. The body is reportedly 565 - 1150 g, which may be equaled by the Eurasian curlew. The extremely long bill, at 12.8 - 20.1 cm in length, rivals the bill size of the closely related long-billed curlew as the longest bill for a sandpiper.

The Far Eastern curlew spends its breeding season in northeastern Asia, including Siberia to Kamchatka, and Mongolia. Its breeding habitat is composed of marshy and swampy wetlands and lakeshores. Most individuals winter in coastal Australia, with a few heading to South Korea, Thailand, Philippines and New Zealand, where they stay at estuaries, beaches, and salt marshes. During its migration the Far Eastern curlew commonly passes the Yellow Sea.

It uses its long, decurved bill to probe for invertebrates in the mud. It may feed in solitary but it generally congregates in large flocks to migrate or roost. Its call is a sharp, clear whistle, cuuue-reee, often repeated.

As of 2006, there are an estimated 38, 000 individuals in the world. Formerly classified as least concern by IUCN, it was found to have been rarer than previously believed and thus its status was updated to Vulnerable in the 2010 IUCN red list of threatened species.

In Australia its status under the EPBC Act is Critically Endangered.

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Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Charadriiformes
Family
Scolopacidae
Genus
Numenius
Species
Numenius madagascariensis

Common names

  • English:
    • Eastern curlew
    • Far eastern curlew
  • Thai: นกอีก๋อยตะโพกสีน้ำตาล, nok E-koy ta-pok see nam-tan

Conservation status

Vulnerable (IUCN3.1)

Vulnerable (IUCN3.1)

Distribution map of Far eastern curlew, Numenius madagascariensis in Thailand
  • Amphawa District, Samut Songkhram
  • Ban Laem District, Phetchaburi
  • Hat Chao Mai National Park
  • Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
  • Laem Pak Bia
  • Mueang Chonburi District, Chonburi
  • Mueang Krabi District, Krabi
  • Mueang Pattani District, Pattani
  • Mueang Samut Sakhon District, Samut Sakhon
  • Pak Thale

Range map of Numenius madagascariensis in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

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