The long-billed curlew (Numenius americanus) is a big shorebird in the Scolopacidae family found in North America. Additionally, this species was known as the “sicklebird” and the “candlestick bird.” The species breeds throughout central and western North America and winters in the south and along the coast.
Quick Overview: Numenius Americanus – Long-Billed Curlew
Body size: Around 23 in (58 cm) and a weight of 544 g (19.2 oz)
Main colors: Brown, Pink, Orange-brown
Range: Western United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: June, July, August, September
Conservation Status: Least Concern
Long-billed Curlew Description
Long-billed curlews are huge, long-legged shorebirds with exceptionally long, decurved bills. The body plumage is a rich buff tinted with cinnamon or pink, with dark brown streaks and bars on the upperparts; the underwing lining is contrasting cinnamon, and the upper surface of the remiges is contrasting orange-brown.
These birds have a length of 23 in (58 cm) and a weight of 544 g (19.2 oz). Their wings could range from 36-40 in (91-102 cm).]
When they are found inland, long-billed curlews feed primarily on insects and worms. In coastal locations, they use their long bills to explore the mud for mussels, crabs, and fish. Additionally, they will consume other nesting birds.
Curlews with long bills breed on plains, meadows, and prairies. It nests on lake and river shores, marshes, mudflats, and sandy beaches during the winter.
Curlews with long bills are predominantly diurnal, spending the majority of their time foraging. They use a combination of flight and brief glides to travel between foraging locations. Individuals that are not breeding are usually solitary, however, they frequently form mixed-sex groups during migratory flights and winter roosts. Typically, long-billed curlews remain inside their declared territory, which they defend against intruders and predators.
Numenius Americanus Scientific Classification
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Subphylum: Chelicerata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Charadriiformes
- Family: Scolopacidae
- Genus: Numenius
- Species: Numenius americanus
Best time of the year to see
The best time to see these birds in the United States is during the summer season (June – September).