Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Day 74 - Corking Curlews

Curlew (Numenius arquata)
feeding at Nosterfield
Hi all today's Day 74 of my blog and I have a wonderful wader for you today. From the title you can see that I am doing Curlews today. Yesterday I did a post on The Big Garden Birdwatch and I just want to say that the response for it was amazing. A lot of people said it was good and if you were one of those people, thank you.

Anyway, without further ado, here are the facts:

  • Curlews are Europe's largest wading bird. They measure up at about a 90cm wingspan and they are 55 cm long. Also they are pretty heavy as well with males weighing 770g and females weighing 1kg.
  • They are an amber status bird with 68,000 breeding pairs in the UK. There is some concern over the loss of their habitats due to intensification in farming and forestry activities.
  • ...Which brings me nicely on to their habitat. They breed on upland moors which is why I see them so much in the North York Moors. You can often see them performing their flight displays and calling, which is a lovely sight. They nest in small depressions lined with a bit of vegetation such as grass.

  • After the breeding season you'll see them on muddy coast bays and estuaries where there are tidal mudflats. I've also seen large herds of Curlews at Nosterfield when they have been feeding on the grassland there as you can see the pictures. Which also brings me nicely on to the diet of Curlews. They eat worms, shellfish and shrimps which they locate on touch with their large curved beak.
  • ...Which brings me nicely on to their long curved beak. Their beak is an unmistakable downward curved bill and is used for probing soft ground for food or to simply take prey off the surface.

  • The Curlew has an amazing call, it can't be mistaken.  Here is a video that has the call on it:

  • Finally, they have a typical life span of 5 years and, hold on to your hats, the oldest recorded curlew was 32 years and 7 months old!

Here are some links to some more information on these Corking Curlews:

Hope you enjoyed,



  1. Excellent stuff Zach. These birds are certainly interesting and their call just epitomises the wild places they live in. Keep up the good work.

  2. Thanks Rick. Glad you enjoyed it. I enjoy doing this so will be keeping it up :-)