Today we celebrate World Curlew Day.
We are very fortunate that we can go out onto the North York Moors and Curlews can be seen regularly and this is in no doubt by coincidence, they are benefitting from the all the hard work that is put in daily by our gamekeepers.
There are eight species of curlew worldwide and two are assumed extinct. The Eskimo and the Slender-Billed have not been seen for decades. Out of the remaining six species, three are at risk of extinction – the Eurasian, the Bristle-thighed and the Far Eastern are all listed on the IUCN Red list of Threatened Species. It is no exaggeration to say that many parts of the earth will lose curlews over the next few decades.
Curlews are iconic birds of wild, wet, evocative places – estuaries, mountain slopes, moorland, meadowland and coast. They have inspired poets, artists, musicians and writers for generations.
April 21 is designated as World Curlew day, it is a grass-roots initiative, supported by major environmental organisations, to raise awareness of the plight of curlews and to encourage activities to help them.
The RSPB say “The curlew is the largest European wading bird, instantly recognisable on winter estuaries or summer moors by its long, downcurved bill, brown upperparts, long legs and evocative call.”