Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata)

Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata)

The Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata) is a large, migratory wading bird belonging to the family Scolopacidae. It is found throughout much of Europe and Asia, and also in parts of Africa and Australia. The Eurasian Curlew is known for its long, curved bill and distinctive, haunting call.

Physical Characteristics:

The Eurasian Curlew measures around 50-60 centimeters (20-24 inches) in length, with a wingspan of approximately 1 meter (3.3 feet). It has a mottled brown and grey plumage, with a long, curved bill that is slightly down-curved at the tip. During breeding season, the male’s plumage is brighter and more colorful than the female’s.


The Eurasian Curlew feeds primarily on invertebrates, such as worms, crustaceans, and mollusks. The bird uses its long bill to probe into mud and sand to find food, and it is also able to catch insects on the surface of the water.

Reproduction and Lifecycle:

The breeding season for the Eurasian Curlew typically occurs between April and June, depending on the location. These birds breed in open, wet habitats, such as marshes and grasslands. They build a shallow scrape in the ground, which they line with grass, leaves, and other vegetation.

The female lays 3 to 6 eggs, which are incubated by both parents for around 27-30 days. After hatching, the chicks are able to leave the nest almost immediately and are able to feed themselves within a few hours of hatching. The young birds are able to fly at around 5-6 weeks old and become fully independent within a few weeks of fledging.

Conservation Status:

The Eurasian Curlew is currently listed as a species of “Near Threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to its declining population. The bird could face potential threats from habitat loss due to wetland drainage, pollution, and other human activities. Conservation efforts focus on habitat preservation, monitoring populations, and reducing disturbances to nesting sites to ensure the long-term survival of the species.

Updated: 20 April 2023 — 15:29

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