Wednesday, September 28, 2011


This mount of an Eskimo Curlew taken in Connecticut is one of the only specimens known from this state.

The admittedly Quixotic search for surviving Eskimo Curlews that might still migrate through outermost coastal Massachusetts entered its second year this August.  Bird Conservation Research, Inc. continues to search habitats not traditionally scanned by bird watchers seeking migrating shorebirds. One tantalizing possibility is that bird move through each fall undetected because the birdwatching community has forgotten how to look for the species. We focus our efforts on sand flats and dune hollows where 19th century gunners once hunted curlews. We avoid searching the tidal mudflats used by the majority of other shorebird species.

Although the probability of success in finding a curlew is low, previous similar efforts by BCR Director Robert Craig have ultimately yielded success. In searching for the supposedly extinct Aguiguan Reed-warbler, knowing how to look for the species made all the difference in successfully relocating it. Similarly, learning how to look for the Black Rail led to its rediscovery as a Connecticut summer resident after 14 years of searching.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck. I, too, am trying to get the word out about looking for these birds. Thing is, most ornithologists and avid birdwatchers are totally convinced that this bird is extinct, so they don't even think of looking for it. I've had people laugh at me when I ask or try to encourage birders to look for this bird in the areas they have been traditionally seen.