Curlew

Species profile

Name: the curlews are a group of nine species of birds characterised by long, slender, downcurved bills. In Europe, the name ‘curlew’ usually refers to one species, the Eurasian curlew (Numenius arquata).

Appearance: the curlews are distinctive birds that can be easily identified by their long, downcurved bills, mottled brown bodies, and long legs.

Size: they are one of the largest wading birds reaching around 60 cm in length, with a wingspan of 100 cm, and a weight of up to 1.3 kg.

Diet: curlews feed on mud or very soft ground, searching for worms and other invertebrates with their long bills. They will also take crabs and other crustaceans.

Did you know: curlews have a distinctive crying call. This evocative sound has been immortalised in the poem, The Seafarer, which dates back to 1,000 AD, but may be even older: “I take my gladness in the… sound of the curlew instead of the laughter of men”.

Location: they can be found in marshy fields and moorlands worldwide, from Europe to Africa, the Americas, Southeast Asia, and Australia.

Where to see curlews

According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see curlews in the following places:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
Rye Harbour
England
67%
high
4.3
very good
3
reports
Dee Estuary
England
50%
average
3.5
good
2
reports

Photo credit: dpexcel under a Creative Commons licence from Pixabay

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