I met this individual on my recent travels.
He or she is a Eurasian Curlew, Numenius arquata, and I encountered it in the Odiel Marshes, Huelva, Spain just across the river from where Christopher Columbus set off on his first voyage to the new world.
I say individual for a reason. One Curlew looks a lot like another, if you’re interested in life span or movements of birds from a particular area you need to mark individuals. The common method to do this in the past was with a metal ring. This guy (in the non-gendered sense) has one on the left leg. To read it though one has to catch the bird. The advent of coloured flags has meant that anyone with binoculars or a camera can identify the bird easily in the field.
In recent years a Eurasian Curlew was seen on Eighty Mile Beach in Western Australia. The Australian Wader Study Group are active there, in fact I have banded birds with them there myself. Ever the optimist I entertained the hope that this one might be it.
I reported my sighting through the International Wader Study Group (firstname.lastname@example.org) and in the fullness of time received the information that this particular Curlew was banded as a first year bird at Poscien, Mazowieckie, Poland 10 months earlier. It was reported 50 days after banding in Irun on Spain’s north coast where it stayed for at least a month. It was first reported in Huelva on the south coast six months prior to my seeing it. In all seven sightings had been submitted. This is a much more efficient means of following a bird than relying on recapture.
So far in its short life it had flown at least 2,800 km. May it fly many more.
One thought on “HO7 the Curlew …”
Indeed it is a long way to fly. I myself may be flying to Broome in February to catch some little feathered friends. Mostly because cooking is no longer a requirement . . . .Lol