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National Curlew Day

To celebrate National Curlew Day

Friday 21st April we are featuring the Curlew

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For anyone who has ever heard the beautiful plaintiff call of the Curlew, they will never forget the sound

The Song of the Curlew

It’s not really just a call but an emotion, that strikes straight to the heart, like Cupid’s arrow and you immediately fall in love with this bird

A largish, mottled coloured, semi-wading bird, with a bill as long as a fiddler’s bow, the Curlew spends its Winter months huddled in small flocks around our quieter coastlines. But in Spring and Summer it leaves the relative safety of the estuaries and travels in land to remote upland areas in order to breed and this is when they are at their most vulnerable

In the last thirty years the breeding population has almost halved. Some of the causes being habitat loss from the draining of bogs, in which the Curlews feed for crustaceans with their long bills; intensive farming practices in agriculture, as Curlews mainly nest in meadows and these grassland areas are now cut earlier and earlier for silage, before the Curlews have raised their young, farm machinery often mowing over while the birds are sitting on their nests. There is some positive news as, in certain areas farmers are working with Curlew Conservation and deliberately waiting to cut their meadows until after breeding,  and are mapping out where the nesting sites are in order to avoid them. Finally as ground nesting birds they are vulnerable to predators from the ground such as Foxes and Badgers; and from above from carrions such as Crows

Sadly the number of Curlews has dropped to such a critical level that they are unable to protect themselves and NEED OUR HELP URGENTLY

Without our help Curlews are predicted to be extinct within ten years. And this heavenly sounding, almost ethereal bird will be lost from our ‘Wild Isles’ forever

Ways to Help

Money – donate to Curlew Action

Wardens providing 24 hour watch to protect vulnerable nesting sites

Predator control – Installing electric fences around nest sites to protect against foxes and badgers. Controlling corvids

Farming community groups who come and monitor where and how many Curlew are in the area


Athene English


The date of National Curlew Day is the feast day of St Bueno, the Patron Saint of Curlews

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