LONG-BILLED CURLEW

LONG-BILLED CURLEW(Numenius americanus) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Long-billed Curlew plumage is light brown with streaks and tinges of rust, especially for the under parts. The brown bill is thin and recurved, and measures some 20 cm (8 inches) long. The legs are grey. Sexes are similar, but females are larger.  The bird is around 60 cm (24 inches) long.
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Numenius-americanus
NAME: The English name ‘Curlew’ stems from a French onomatopoeia ‘corlieu’, in imitation of the bird’s call. The Latin genus name ‘Numenius’, means ‘new moon’, referencing to the bill shape.
HABITAT: Prairie, fields.
DIET: Sand crabs, beetles, grasshoppers, earthworms, etc. Uses its  specialized bill to dig out burrowing prey.
NESTING: Nests on the ground. About four light green eggs are laid, incubated by both parents. Chicks are able to feed themselves soon after hatching, but parents care for them. However their survival rate for is low due to high predation rates.
DISTRIBUTION: Breeding range in the western United States and southern western Canadian provinces. Migrates to Mexico and along the coasts of the southern part of the USA and Central America for the winter.
DISTRIBUTION MAP: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-billed_curlew#/media/File:Curlew_feb2009_modified_mar4.jpg
ON PEI: There have only been hypothetical reports of this bird species so far on Prince Edward Island (summer and fall).
CONSERVATION: The long-billed curlew is considered a species of ‘special concern’ by COSEWIC. In Canada, the bird is no longer present in the Atlantic provinces, where it was hunted. About 100 years ago, this bird was killed for the market and also for sport, as it was an easy target. The main factors for its decline in western Canada now are loss of habitat due to expansion of agriculture, and fragmentation of the remaining habitat. The latter makes the long-billed curlew easier of access by coyotes.
NOTES: The Long-billed Curlew is part of the Sandpiper family and one of the largest.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Whimbrel, Bristle-thighed Curlew
REFERENCES: http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/longbillcurlew.htm (New Hampshire PBS)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-billed_curlew
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/long-billed-curlew
American Bird Conservancy (Long-billed Curlew)
http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/okanagan/esd/atlas/species/curlew.html (Environment, British Columbia)

Long-billed Curlew - Moss Landing, CA - Sept. 24, 2016 - Roberta Palmer
Long-billed Curlew – Moss Landing, CA – Sept. 24, 2016 – Roberta Palmer
Long-billed curlew at Moss Landing, CA - Sept. 24, 2016 - Roberta Palmer
Long-billed curlew at Moss Landing, CA – Sept. 24, 2016 – Roberta Palmer

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