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Bristle-thighed Curlew - BirdForum Opus

Winter plumage
Photo by jparks
Big Island, Hawaii, February 2010

Alternative name: Kioea1

Numenius tahitiensis



  • Buff spotted brown upper parts
  • Light belly
  • Rust or buff tail
  • Buff-orange rump
  • Long, decurved bill
  • Bristled feathers at base of legs
In the breeding ground
Photo by peterday
Nome, Alaska, June-2017

Similar Species

Very similar in size and shape to Whimbrel but pale unbarred rump and voice are distinctive.


Breeds on the lower Yukon River and the Seward Peninsula in western Alaska.

Winters in Micronesia, Fiji, Tonga, Hawaii, American Samoa, and French Polynesia.

Accidental vagrant along the pacific coast of Canada and the United States, and in Japan, New Zealand, and the Philippines.


This is a monotypic species[2].


Breeds in coastal tundra. Feeds on coastal short grassland/turf.


Photo by ClimbItaLogiCal
Midway Atoll, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, July 2011


The diet includes insects, flowers and berries, and other birds' eggs.


They nest in ground depressions, lined with tundra moss. The clutch of 4 greenish brown spotted eggs are incubated for 25 days; both parents caring for the young. The adults migrate southwards when the chicks are about 5 weeks old, the chicks leaving later.


  1. Not to be confused with Kioea, Chaetoptila angustipluma.
  2. Clements, JF. 2010. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2010. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/Clements%206.5.xls/view
  3. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links