The Eurasian Curlew is one of the largest waders of the world, and the largest in Europe. This migratory species is highly gregarious outside the breeding season. Its distinctive long, downcurved bill allows the bird to probe deeply into the wet soils of its favourite habitats. Its evocative call is a loud “curloo-oo”, giving the species its name.
The adult in breeding plumage has pale buff-brown head, neck and upper mantle. Head and neck are streaked blackish, whereas the mantle shows dark spots and weak bars. Lower back and rump are white. The tail is barred dark brown. The upperwing is pale buff-brown and spotted dark, whereas the flight feathers are blackish.
On the underparts, the whitish upperbreast is streaked dark, but the lower part is more heavily streaked. Belly, vent and undertail-coverts are white with narrow dark streaks. The underwing is white with variable streaking and spotting. Flanks show dark V-shaped streaks. On the finely streaked head, we can see an indistinct white supercilium. Chin and upperthroat are whitish.
The long, downcurved bill is dark horn with pinkish base of lower mandible. The eyes are dark brown. Long legs and feet are pale blue-grey to greenish-grey.
Length: 30-38 cm
Wingspan: 50-55 cm
Weight: 271-339 g
The Curlew feeds mainly on annelids, arthropods, crustaceans, molluscs, seeds and berries all year round. But occasionally, it may also take vertebrates such as small fish, amphibians, lizards, young birds and probably eggs, and small rodents. During summer, terrestrial insects and earthworms are primarily consumed.
It forages in deep or shallow water in intertidal zones. It feeds by pecking, jabbing and deep probing in mud or damp soil.
As male and female have different bill length, they forage in separate areas. The female forages on intertidal flats while the male feeds mainly on cultivated grassland. They are usually solitary, walking slowly while foraging. At high tide, larger groups are visible on the elevated banks in creeks.Outside the breeding season, the Eurasian Curlew is highly gregarious. They are monogamous. During the breeding season, the male performs aerial displays. It glides with the wings in wide V-shape, giving quite raptor-like impression when gliding, with invisible long bill. Both parents take part in nesting duties.
The Curlew performs relatively slow wingbeats, similar to those of gulls.
The Eurasian Curlew breeds in open wet areas such as damp grassland and moorland, bogs, grassy or boggy open areas in forest, farmland, heathland and coastal marshes.
Outside the breeding season, it occurs along muddy coasts, bays and estuaries, on muddy shores of inland lakes and rivers, but also on rocky shores and coastal wetlands.
During migrations, they can be found in wet grassland and fields.
Calls and songs:
The Eurasian Curlew gives loud, distinctive “curl-oo” or “cour-lee” usually heard both on breeding and wintering grounds. This call becomes louder and raucous when the bird is alarmed. When excited, it utters a loud, high-pitched “tutututu”. During the courtship displays, we can hear long, trilled, liquid, bubbling phrases, also heard in winter. The flight call is a melodic, slowly rising whistle “duuuweeee”.
Methods of hunting permitted for use:
- ambush hunting,
- using hunting birds,
- using hunting dogs
Permitted hunting tools:
Hunting fire smooth-bore long-barreled arms; cold bladed hunting weapon
Peel the skin and smear with lemon juice. Let stand in a cool place for up to three hours.
Salt, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 2 teaspoons of spicy sauce, a tablespoon of sour cream and a tablespoon of tomato puree.
Curlews are fried on coals or in an electro grill. To do this, prepare the sauce and cook 15–20 minutes of roasted meat. Carcasses should be covered with a light brown crust.