Eskimo Curlew

Numenius borealis

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Sandpipers, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Code 4

ESCU

Code 6

NUMBOR

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

ask community
Copyright © 2004 - 2017 Mitch Waite Group

PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Critically Endangered

The Eskimo Curlew is currently rated as Critically Endangered. The 1980s was the last time that this species of bird was reliably recorded. While this bird species was once abundant, it has declined at a rapid rate due to habitat loss and hunting. It is not yet believed to be completely extinct. The Eskimo Curlew was known to breed in the Northwest Territories in Canada and migrate to Central America during the winter. If any population of this bird species remains, it is believed to be extremely small. The last unconfirmed sighting was in 1996.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Eskimo Curlew: Small curlew, brown mottled upperparts, buff underparts streaked and mottled brown, and pale cinnamon wing linings. Bill is moderately short, not as strongly curved as similar curlews. Crown has two dark stripes. Wings noticeably long on perched bird. Last sighted in Canada in 1982.

 

Range and Habitat

Eskimo Curlew: Assumed Extinct. Formerly bred in the far northern reaches of Alaska east to Nunavut. Wintered on grasslands in Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. Spring migration brought this species south through the Gulf of Mexico along the Mississippi River. Habitats included grasslands, tundra, burned prairie, and meadows.

whatbird search for your browser

Eskimo Curlew SONGS AND CALLS

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

No data available.

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Eskimo Curlew, first described by Johann Reinhold Forster in 1772, is critically endangered, and possibly extinct. It is also known as the Prairie Pigeon, Fute, Little Curlew, Doe-bird and Doughbird.
  • At one time, it may have been one of the most numerous shorebirds in North America with a population in the millions. As many as 2 million birds per year were killed near the end of the 19th century.
  • A comparison of dates and migratory patterns leads to the conclusion that this species and American Golden-Plovers were the most likely shorebirds to have attracted the attention of Christopher Columbus after 65 days at sea on his first voyage.
  • A group of curlews has many collective nouns, including a "curfew", "game", "head", "salon", and "skein" of curlews.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

David Wenzel

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

.
UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X