Far Eastern Curlew

Numenius madagascariensis

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Sandpipers, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Code 4

FECU

Code 6

NUMMAD

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Endangered

The Far Eastern Curlew has a large breeding range of 727,000 square kilometers. It breeds in marshes and open bogs in eastern Russia, and parts of Mongolia and northeastern China. It winters in estuaries and other coastal habitats in eastern Asia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Australasia, and has been recorded as a vagrant in Alaska. This species is threatened by destruction of important tidal mud flats used during migration and on wintering grounds and has shown recent declines because of this. The Far Eastern Curlew has an estimated population of 20,000-49,999 individuals and a conservation rating of Endangered.

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BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Far Eastern Curlew: Largest curlew, very long, decurved bill, longest of any shorebird. Dark brown with heavily streaked underparts. Blue-gray legs, feet. Eats crustaceans, marine worms, insects, larvae, invertebrates. Strong steady flight, rapid wing beats. Flies in straight line or V formation.

 

Range and Habitat

Far Eastern Curlew: This species breeds in northeastern Asia and Siberia, wintering in Australia, New Zealand, and New Guinea. It very rarely wanders to the Aleutian Islands and Pribilof Islands of Alaska and southwestern British Columbia in the spring. It is found along wetlands, beaches, lakeshores, and salt marshes.

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Far Eastern Curlew SONGS AND CALLS

Far Eastern Curlew U1

Whistled "cuu-reee" calls given while chasing another bird.

Far Eastern Curlew U2

Typical call is a "cuu-reee".

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"cuu-reee"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Far Eastern Curlew is also known as the Eastern Curlew, the Australian Curlew, the Sea Curlew and just plain Curlew. It is the largest migratory wading bird in the world.
  • During courtship the males attract females through their calls and their dances. The males flutter their wings, leaping up to 10-15 metres off the ground and trilling as they do.
  • Named "Numenius madagascariensis" by Linnaeus in 1766, it appears that the famous biologist mistakenly confused Madigascar with Macassar. The more appropriate name would be Numenius macassariensis.
  • 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.

RANGE MAP PALAU

About this Palau Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Palau islands.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Chris Vest

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BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

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

Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X