Far Eastern Curlew

This species is defined as a Review Species. Please submit your records of this species via our record submission page.

Scientific Name: Numenius madagascariensis
Malay Name: Kendi Besar Timur
Chinese Name: 大杓鹬

Breeding Range: East and South-east Siberia, North-east China. Wintering mainly in Australia.


Size: 60-66 cm

A large wader similar to the Eurasian Curlew, but larger and longer billed and appears more uniform with browner/buffier underparts. In flight shows uniform light brown back and rump and heavily marked underwings.

Similar looking species: Eurasian Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew

Habitat: Mudflats and sandflats.

Behaviour/Ecology: Generally congregates in large flocks to migrate or roost but may feed alone. Feeds mainly by probing for invertebrates from deep burrows. 

Local Status: Very rare vagrant

Conservation Status: Endangered (BirdLife International 2017)

Featured articles:

Past accepted records in our database:

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

BirdLife International. (2017). Numenius madagascariensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T22693199A118601473.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023
Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.