Monday, May 29, 2023

Let’s hear it for Europe’s largest wading bird on World Curlew Day

Today is World Curlew Day, on which we’re encouraged to celebrate the largest wading bird in Europe, with long legs and curvy beaks making them perfect for finding food in our coastline’s thick mud. They love the coastline around Cleethorpes, Grimsby and Immingham.

A tall wader, curlews arrive along our coastline form July onwards with their numbers peaking in January. A group of curlews is called a curfew, a salon or a skein. You can often spot them on football pitches along our coastline, looking for food in the torn-up turf.

Their ‘cur-lee’ call is distinctive along with their long down curved bill that has a flash of pink underneath. They use this curvy bill to eat worms, shellfish and shrimps from the mud flat.  Due to their eating habits, female curlews have a longer bill than the males.

The Eurasian Curlew was once a common sight across the UK, but their numbers have drastically declined over the last 40 years. On average, we have lost 60 per cent of the curlew population in England and Scotland since 1980. They are now a red list species with only 58,500 breeding pairs in the UK.

Once Curlews make it to adulthood, they are very hardy birds but many don’t survive to fledging age. This is due to changing landscapes, habitat loss, recreational disturbance, climate change and natural predators. Curlews take 90 days to nest successfully, they need a variety of tall and short vegetation to provide cover and food.

Loss or change of habitat has been a major factor in the species decline. Mitigation sites like Novartis Ings provide a safe habitat for curlews and other birds to rest and feed. Curlews are one of the species for which the Humber Estuary has been classed as an internationally important habitat and is protected in law.

Why is World Curlew Day today? St Beuno is the patron saint of curlews and his feast day is 21 April. Legend has it that the Seventh Century saint was sailing off the coast of Wales and dropped his prayer book into the water. A curlew is said to have scooped it up and brought it to safety.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our news site - please take a moment to read this important message:

As you know, our aim is to bring you, the reader, an editorially led news site and magazine but journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them.

With the Covid-19 pandemic having a major impact on our industry as a whole, the advertising revenues we normally receive, which helps us cover the cost of our journalists and this website, have been drastically affected.

As such we need your help. If you can support our news sites/magazines with either a small donation of even £1, or a subscription to our magazine, which costs just £27.55 per year, (inc p&P and mailed direct to your door) your generosity will help us weather the storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

As a subscriber, you will have unlimited access to our web site and magazine. You'll also be offered VIP invitations to our events, preferential rates to all our awards and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Just click here to subscribe and in the meantime may I wish you the very best.


Latest posts

New recruits are a hoot at Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance!

Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance are thrilled to announce the arrival of two special recruits to its aviation team! But hold on, they're not...

Asylum seekers could come to RAF Scampton direct from Kent, council is told

West Lindsey District Council has been advised by the Home Office that the asylum proposal for RAF Scampton has changed, with it now being...

Online information evening offers chance to find out more about fostering

Could you offer a child in Lincolnshire a safe and secure home? Lincolnshire Fostering Service are currently recruiting foster carers in your area and are running an...

Boston Library reopens following refurb

Boston Library has reopened following refurbishment. The town’s library is based in the County Hall building in the centre of Boston. To allow the owner...

Solar panel installation at council offices set to cut tons of carbon

Installation of 195 solar panels at the North Kesteven District Council offices has now been completed, making a significant contribution to the council’s aim...

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.