Curlew Chicks – A more than average 5

The curlew is the largest European wading bird, it is instantly recognisable by it’s long, downcurved bill, brown upperparts, long legs and evocative call, and is a popular sight and sound of the North York Moors.

There are 8 curlew species in the world and the one most commonly seen in the UK is the largest, the Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata).  In 2015 the Eurasian Curlew was added to the Red List as a bird of high conservation concern, this is due to the fact that since 1970 over 60% of the UK population of breeding curlew had been lost.

Since the decline of the curlew population within the UK they now tend to breed on a range of habitats but are primarily birds of managed rough grasslands, moorlands and bogs.  The bulk of the breeding population (around 60 per cent) occurs in Scotland, with the majority of the remaining birds residing in northern England.

Thanks to George Gunn Photography for sending in the adult curlew in flight photo and the local gamekeepers for sending in the chicks photos.  The final image shows 5 well camouflaged chicks, this is a large brood as 3 to 4 is a more common figure.