Blancha Record

Blancha Record

Modified & Updated: 08 Sep 2023


The Curlew is a fascinating and enigmatic bird that belongs to the family of waders. With its distinctive long, curved bill and haunting call, the Curlew has captured the attention and curiosity of both bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Known for their impressive long-distance migrations, these graceful birds can be found in various habitats ranging from coastal wetlands to grasslands and moorlands. In this article, we will explore 13 interesting facts about the Curlew, shedding light on their behavior, ecology, and conservation status. From their intricate courtship rituals to their declining population numbers, there is much to discover and appreciate about these elegant creatures. So, let’s embark on a journey of discovery into the fascinating world of the Curlew and unravel the mysteries that surround this remarkable species.

Table of Contents

Curlew is a bird species

Curlew is a large wading bird belonging to the family Scolopacidae. These birds are known for their long, curved bills and distinctive call.

There are different species of Curlew

There are several species of curlew, including the Eurasian curlew, the Whimbrel, and the Far Eastern curlew. Each species has its unique characteristics and habitat preferences.

Curlews are migratory birds

Curlews are known for their impressive migratory journeys. They breed in high-latitude areas and travel long distances to warmer regions during the winter months.

Curlews have a unique bill shape

The bill of a curlew is long, slender, and curves downwards. This specialized bill helps them probe and find food in wetlands and mudflats.

Curlews have a distinctive call

The call of a curlew is often described as a haunting, melodious sound. It serves as a way to communicate with other members of their species and establish territories.

Curlews are known for their elaborate courtship displays

During the breeding season, male curlews perform elaborate displays to attract females. These displays involve aerial acrobatics, wing-fluttering, and loud vocalizations.

Curlews have a varied diet

Curlews are omnivorous birds, feeding on a variety of invertebrates, crustaceans, small fish, and plant matter. Their long bills help them search for food in the mud and shallow water.

Curlews are facing conservation threats

Many curlew species are facing population declines due to habitat loss, climate change, and hunting. Conservation efforts are being made to protect their habitats and ensure their survival.

Curlews are highly territorial

Curlews defend their breeding territories fiercely, often engaging in territorial disputes with other birds. These displays of aggression involve chasing, calling, and sometimes physical confrontations.

Curlews have excellent camouflage

Curlews have a mottled brown plumage that helps them blend into their surroundings, providing them with effective camouflage against predators.

Curlews have long legs and strong feet

Curlews have long, slender legs and strong feet adapted for wading through wetland habitats. Their legs allow them to walk and run on soft mud and navigate shallow water.

Curlews are symbols of wetland conservation

Due to their dependency on wetland habitats, curlews are considered indicators of the health of these ecosystems. Their presence is often used to assess the overall well-being of wetland systems.

Curlews have a lifespan of around 20 years

On average, curlews have a lifespan of 20 years in the wild. However, with proper conservation efforts, their populations can thrive for much longer.


In conclusion, curlews are fascinating birds that have captured the attention of nature enthusiasts and researchers alike. From their unique physical characteristics to their migratory patterns, there is so much to discover and appreciate about curlews. Whether you are a bird lover or simply intrigued by the wonders of the natural world, curlews offer a wealth of information and beauty to explore. So, the next time you spot these elegant wading birds in their natural habitat, take a moment to admire their graceful presence and remember the thirteen fascinating facts you’ve learned about curlews.


Q: What is a curlew?

A: A curlew is a long-legged wading bird belonging to the family Scolopacidae. They have distinctive downward-curved bills and occupy a variety of habitats, including wetlands, mudflats, and grassy meadows.

Q: How many different species of curlews are there?

A: There are around eight different species of curlews, including the Eurasian curlew, Far Eastern curlew, and Bristle-thighed curlew.

Q: What do curlews eat?

A: Curlews primarily feed on insects, worms, crustaceans, and small mollusks. They use their long bills to probe the ground in search of food.

Q: Do curlews fly long distances?

A: Yes, curlews are known for their impressive migratory journeys. Some species travel thousands of kilometers from their breeding grounds in the Arctic to their wintering areas in more temperate regions.

Q: Are curlews in danger of extinction?

A: Unfortunately, many species of curlews are facing declining populations and are considered to be at risk of extinction. Loss of habitat, commercial development, and hunting are some of the main threats they face.

Q: Do curlews have any predators?

A: Yes, curlews have predators such as foxes, snakes, and larger birds of prey. However, their excellent camouflage and vigilant behavior help them avoid potential threats.

Q: How do curlews communicate?

A: Curlews communicate through a variety of vocalizations, including a distinctive melodious call that is often part of their courtship and territorial displays.

Q: Where can I spot curlews?

A: Curlews can be found in various parts of the world, depending on the species. Coastal areas, estuaries, and grasslands are common habitats for these birds.

Q: What is the lifespan of a curlew?

A: The average lifespan of a curlew is around 15-25 years, depending on the species and various environmental factors.

Q: Are curlews social birds?

A: Curlews are generally solitary birds, although they may congregate in small groups during migration or in certain feeding areas.

Q: How do curlews build their nests?

A: Curlews build their nests on the ground, typically in a shallow depression lined with grass and leaves. The female takes the primary role in nest-building and incubation.

Q: Do curlews mate for life?

A: Curlews often form long-lasting pair bonds during the breeding season, but they do not mate for life. They may find new mates in subsequent breeding seasons.

Q: What conservation efforts are being made to protect curlews?

A: Many conservation organizations and researchers are working to protect curlews by implementing measures like habitat restoration, anti-hunting campaigns, and raising awareness about the importance of these birds in ecosystems.