Backlit Curlew, Peak District

Backlit Curlew. Curlew perched on a drystone wall, backlit by warm summer evening sunshine. Derbyshire, Peak District National Park, UK. 

The curlew is one of the most distinctive and recognisable moorland birds. Hearing their evocative call is a true sign that summer has arrived on the high pastures. 

Backlit Curlew – About the Curlew:

The curlew (Numenius arquata) is the largest of all European wading birds, instantly recognised by its distinctively long down curved bill, long legs and evocative call. A Curlew’s diet consists mainly of worms, crabs and small invertebrates, which they find by probing with their long curved bill in soft ground. Curlews are currently RSPB red status due their rapid decline and diminishing numbers due to loss and fragmentation of moorland and grassland habitats. Curlews are often found in small groups, known as a “curfew”, “salon”, or “skein”.

The curlew is a distinctive and much-loved species of bird that can be found in the UK’s coastal areas and uplands. With their long, curved bills and distinctive calls, they are a fascinating and iconic presence in the British countryside.

Despite their popularity, curlew populations in the UK have declined significantly in recent years, largely due to habitat loss and changes in land use. Conservationists are working to protect and restore their habitats, particularly in areas such as wetlands and moorlands, where they nest and forage.

One of the key challenges facing curlews is finding suitable places to nest. They typically nest on the ground, and are vulnerable to disturbance from predators and human activity. Conservationists are working to create new nesting sites, and to protect existing ones, to help support their populations.

Another major threat to curlews is climate change. As temperatures rise and weather patterns shift, their habitats may become less suitable for nesting and foraging. To help protect them, conservationists are monitoring their populations and working to identify and protect key sites that are likely to remain suitable in the face of climate change.

Despite these challenges, there is still hope for the future of curlews in the UK. With ongoing conservation efforts and increased public awareness, their populations may yet recover and thrive once again. By working together to protect their habitats and reduce the impact of human activity, we can help ensure that these iconic birds continue to grace our countryside for generations to come.

Find out more about the Curlew here.

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Backlit Curlew. Curlew perched on a drystone wall, backlit by warm summer evening sunshine. Derbyshire, Peak District National Park, UK. 


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