Little Curlew

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

Scientific Name: Numenius minutus
Malay Name: Kendi Kerdil Asia
Chinese Name: 小杓鹬

Breeding range in northen parts of Siberia. Wintering in Australia. Passage migrant to eastern parts of Indonesia and the Philippines.


Size: 29-32 cm

A small greyish brown curlew species that resembles the larger Eurasian Whimbrel. Smaller and finer billed than its larger relatives and pale supercillium contrast sharply with black eyestripe. Underparts also more buffish. Legs and feet yellowish to bluish-grey.

Similar looking species: Eurasian Whimbrel

Habitat: Found in open fields, grasslands, barren cultivation, margins of freshwater and also on coastal mudflats during migration.

Behaviour/Ecology: Feeds mainly by picking.

Local Status: Very rare vagrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

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Past accepted records in our database:

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

BirdLife International. (2016). Numenius minutus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. Accessed on 1 January 2023
Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.