Long-billed Curlew

Numenius americanus




Sandpipers, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Pale olive buff with brown and olive spotting

Number of Eggs:

3 - 5

Incubation Days:

27 - 30

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On ground.

Nest Material:

Lined with a few bits of grass, weeds, and chips.





Long-billed Curlew: Very large sandpiper with brown mottled upperparts and buff-brown underparts with dark streaks and spots. Bill is extremely long and decurved. Cinnamon-brown underwings are visible in flight. Sexes are similar, although female has longer bill. Juvenile has shorter bill.

Range and Habitat

Long-billed Curlew: Breeds from southern Canada to northern California, Utah, northern New Mexico, and Texas. Spends winters from California, Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Florida southward. Breeding habitat includes plains and prairies. During migration, frequents lake and river shores, mudflats, salt marshes, and sandy beaches.

Breeding and Nesting

Long-billed Curlew: Three to five brown and olive spotted, pale olive buff eggs are laid in a grass-lined nest built in a ground hollow. Incubation ranges from 27 to 30 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Long-billed Curlew: Feeds on insects such as grasshoppers, beetles, and butterflies, worms, crustaceans, and mollusks; also takes small vertebrates, including the eggs and young of other birds.


Long-billed Curlew: Song is a sharp "whit-whit, whit, whit, whit, whit."

Similar Species

Long-billed Curlew: Whimbrel has shorter bill, bold black head stripes, and lacks cinnamon-brown wing linings.


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

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X