Breeding Curlew Survey 2016
The Curlew (Numenius arquata) is one of the most iconic birds of the rural Irish landscape. Its charismatic call (listen via links on the right), large greyish-brown body and long, down-curved bill make the Curlew an easily identifiable bird. Unfortunately, breeding Curlew populations in Ireland have declined massively in the past 20 years as a result of habitat loss, changes in land use and a host of other factors. As a result of this decline, Curlew are currently Red-listed in Ireland and represent one of countries highest conservation priorities.
It is worth noting that while large numbers of Curlew are present during the Irish winter, the majority of these birds do not breed in Ireland. These winter visitors come from the UK, Scandinavia and continental Europe to take advantage of our mild winter weather and return to their overseas breeding grounds come spring.
BirdWatch Ireland is again appealing for sightings of breeding Curlew in 2016 as part of an NPWS funded Survey, running for the second year, to help determine the number of breeding pairs in Ireland and identify important breeding site.
Curlew nest in damp, rushy pastures and on open mooreland. Using their long, down-curved bills they probe for food in soft, wet areas along ditches or shallow pools where their chicks can easily find insects to eat. When disturbed near a nest site, Curlew will remain in the area and fly (typically in circles) above the 'intruder' while giving loud alarm calls.
Whether you see Curlew in suitable nesting habitat or observe obvious signs of breeding, we would like to hear from you. You can enter your Curlew sightings quickly and easily via SurveyMonkey.
If you would like more details on the Breeding Curlew Survey and how you can help further, please contact us here.
The 2016 Breeding Curlew Survey is commissioned and funded by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht.