Curlew call: Michael John O Mahony, Xeno-canto
What am I?
I am Europe’s largest wading bird.
Where do I come from?
I come to the Solent from Scandinavia, some of my friends come from as far as Russia to spend the winter here.
A bit about me
My iconic long down curved beak is great at probing deep in the mud. My favourite foods are lugworms and cockles which I hunt out with my long flexible beak, which is packed with nerves, so I can feed by touch alone. I can be quite difficult to spot as I am well camouflaged, and I prefer to feed on my own so I am well hidden.
Some of my Curlew friends spend the summer in Britain, they breed in places like the New Forest! You won’t see them in the winter though, they migrate to France and Spain.
We are a common winter visitor to the Solent, there are around 2000 of us at any one time. Winter numbers are relatively stable, however, our breeding numbers are declining.
I’m a qualifying feature for the Chichester and Langstone Harbours Special Protection Area – that means, when the site was designated, a nationally significant number of us used these awesome coastlines in the winter!
My Latin name ‘Numenius arquata’ means of the new moon, this refers to my curved beak.