August Shorebird of the Month
It's always exciting on the rare occasions I'm lucky enough to spot a whimbrel. They are a very, rare migrant here at Cheyenne Bottoms and one of the largest shorebirds we get here—almost 18 inches long. The few times I've seen one in the past 20 years, it's usually in a wet meadow of Cheyenne Bottoms Preserve and not along the shorelines of the wildlife area.
A blueberry a day: whimbrels are one of a several shorebirds that include fruit in their diet, sometimes leading to clashes with Canadian blueberry farmers.
HABITAT & RANGE
Whimbrels are widespread—either breeding or wintering on every continent except Antarctica. They are mostly coastal. In North America, they migrate and winter along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, rarely making the trip inland. Look for them in wetlands and on shorelines.
Low concern globally but mostly because these birds have a very large range. In North America, however, whimbrel populations are declining and the bird has been on the State of the Birds Watch List in the past.
CHEYENNE BOTTOMS AREA STATUS
Very rare migrant. In the spring, 90% of all whimbrels arrive in a short window: May 6-25. Fall passage through here is more spread out, early July through mid-October.