World Curlew Day 2023

Today is World Curlew Day. Here are a few interesting (and sometimes depressing) facts about curlews.

๐ŸŒ Curlews are called “the whaap” in Shetland dialect
โ™€ Females have longer bills than males
๐Ÿ”ป Red listed in UK
๐ŸŒ Europe’s largest wading bird
๐Ÿ“‰ 48% decline in breeding birds in UK between 1995 and 2015 with declines of over 50% in Wales and Scotland
โ„ Wintering population in UK down by 15%
๐ŸŒ UK has 28% of European population
๐ŸŒ 60% of UK breeders in Scotland 
๐Ÿ˜ข Listed as near-threatened globally due to declines here and in Europe
๐Ÿ“‰ Reasons for declines unclear but likely to include changes in farming practices, drainage of land, afforestation of upland areas, increased predator pressures from creation of edge habitats
๐Ÿšซ Two curlew species almost certainly lost to extinction in last century: Eskimo curlew of Americas (last confirmed sighting in 1963) and slender-billed curlew of Asian steppes (last confirmed sighting 1995)