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Eurasian Curlew

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  • Fulica atra
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About the Eurasian Curlew

Also known as: Common Curlew, Curlew, European Curlew, Western Curlew, Whaup

The Eurasian Curlew is a large species of wader with a very long bill. Eurasian Curlews range from central and southern Europe and Asia to parts of Africa. They are migratory.

Eurasian Curlews feed primarily on invertebrates. They find prey by touch, using their unique long, curved bills. Males and females have similar plumage, but females are much larger in size.

Eurasian Curlews are known simply as Curlew through much of their range. They breed in meadows and other flat scrubland-type habitat. They are named for their loud call, which sounds like they are yelling "curloo-oo-oo."

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 19 December 2011
Scientific Name Numenius arquata
  • Charadriiformes
  • Scolopacidae
  • Numenius
  • N. arquata
Birdorable Family Plovers & Shorebirds
Conservation Status Near Threatened
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 28 September 2017)
Units: Imperial Metric
21 inches
35 inches
21 to 35 ounces
Range West Europe East Europe South Europe West Asia Central Asia North Africa West Africa Central Africa East Africa


From IUCN Red List:
The Eurasian Curlew is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2015 by BirdLife International. This widespread species remains common in many parts of its range, and determining population trends is problematic. Nevertheless, declines have been recorded in several key populations and overall a moderately rapid global decline is estimated. As a result, the species has been uplisted to Near Threatened; it almost qualifies for threatened under criteria A2bcd+3bcd+4bcd.

International Names

  • koliha velká (Czech)
  • Storspove (Danish)
  • Wulp (Dutch)
  • kuovi (Finnish)
  • Courlis cendré (French)
  • Großer Brachvogel (German)
  • Chiurlo maggiore (Italian)
  • ダイシャクシギ (daishakushigi) (Japanese)
  • 마도요 (Korean)
  • Storspove (Norwegian)
  • kulik wielki (Polish)
  • Кроншнеп большой (Russian)
  • Zarapito Real (Spanish)
  • Storspov (Swedish)

Related articles

10 Facts about the Eurasian Curlew

10 Facts about the Eurasian Curlew

Here are ten facts about the Eurasian Curlew: The Eurasian Curlew is the largest wading bird found in Europe; In Scotland it is known as the "Whaup"; The birds can be found from central and ... more