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Curlew Numenius arquata

The curlew is a very large, tall wader, about the same size as a female pheasant. Its haunting display call ('cur-lee') is unmistakable and can be heard from February through to July on its breeding grounds - wet grasslands, farmland, heath and moorlands. From July onwards, coastal numbers start to build up, peaking in January.

Conservation status

Classified in the UK as Red under the Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds (2015). Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework. Listed as Near Threatened on the global IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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Did you know? The curlew has been part of our national landscape for centuries. In fact the curlew’s evocative call has been immortalised in one of the oldest poems in the English language - The Seafarer, which dates back to 1,000 AD but may be older still: "I take my gladness in the... sound of the curlew instead of the laughter of men".

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