Long-billed Curlew

Numenius americanus

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Habitat

Status

Special Concern (Federal)
Blue List (Provincial)

Description

Largest sandpiper in the world. Adults range from 51 to 66 cm in length (including the bill). Extremely long and slender, downcurved bill up to 21 cm long. Buff coloured underparts tinged with cinnamon or pink. Upperparts are streaked and mottled with dark brown. Long legs are a dull bluish grey.

Long-billed Curlews choose breeding habitats with sparse, short grasses, including shortgrass and mixed-grass prairies as well as agricultural fields. After their young leave the nest they may move to areas with taller, denser grasses. En route to their wintering grounds along the coast and interior Mexico, they use shortgrass prairies, alkali lakes, wet pastures, tidal mudflats, and agricultural fields.

These birds can be seen in the summer through most of the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Threats

-Loss of habitat from agricultural and urban development
-Fire suppression
-Invasive plants that outcompete native grasses and degrade the habitat
-Increasing risk from predators due to habitat fragmentation
-ATV use destroying grasslands

You Can Help!

-Protect native grassland nesting habitat
-Control invasive plants and reduce soil disturbance to prevent invasive plants from establishing
-Leave known nesting sites undisturbed
-Avoid fragmenting grasslands with roads and development
-Avoid ATV use in grasslands

Resources