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Long-billed Curlew

The Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus) is a very large shorebird with a long bill curved downwards, a long neck and a small head. The head, neck and underparts are light brown. The back is dark brown. They show cinnamon wing linings in flight.

They breed in the grasslands of central western North America. Their nests are located on the ground in open prairie. The female usually lays 4 eggs and both parents look after the young.

They migrate short distances and spend their winters on the coasts of the southern United States south to Mexico.

These birds forage in fields, picking up food by sight, also by probing. They mainly eat insects, but also eat crustaceans in coastal areas.

The population was significantly reduced at the end of the 19th century by hunting. Numbers have rebounded somewhat in more recent times.

Long-billed Curlew


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