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BC Conservation Data Centre: Species Summary


Numenius americanus
Long-billed Curlew


 
Scientific Name [Author]: Numenius americanus [Bechstein, 1812]
English Name: Long-billed Curlew
 
Classification / Taxonomy
Scientific Name - Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Classification Level: Species
Species Group: Vertebrate Animal
Species Code: B-LBCU
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Craniata Aves Charadriiformes Scolopacidae
   
Conservation Status / Legal Designation
Global Status: G5 (Jul 2014)
Provincial Status: S3B (Mar 2015)
BC List: Blue
Identified Wildlife: Y (May 2004)  
Provincial Wildlife Act:
COSEWIC Status: Special Concern (May 2011)
SARA Schedule: 1  -  Special Concern (Jan 2005)
General Status Canada: 3 - Sensitive (2005)
Migratory Bird Convention Act: Y
   
Ecology & Life History
General Description:
Global Reproduction Comments: Egg laying begins in April in Washington, by early May in Saskatchewan. Clutch size is 3-5 (usually 4); eggs are laid over 4-7 days. Incubation lasts 28-30 days, by both sexes (Redmond and Jenni 1986). Nestlings are precocial. Young are tended by both parents, brooded at night for several days after hatching. Females usually depart when young are 2-3 weeks old; males tend young until fledging at 41-45 days. Age of first breeding probably is 2-3 years for females, 3-4 years for males. One brood per year. Does not renest if clutch is lost. Fledging success is greater for early nesters (Redmond and Jenni 1986). Annual productivity is low. See Allen (1980) for details on nesting and brooding behavior. Often nests in loose colonies. Reported breeding density up to one pair per 24 ha; sometimes only one pair per several hundred ha. Breeding density was about 5-7 males per 100 ha in Idaho (Redmond and Jenni 1986), 1 pair per 6-7 sq km in Saskatchewan, up to 15 territories in 10.4 sq km in Washington (Allen 1980), 0-9 nests per ha in Oregon (Pampush and Anthony 1993), 0.64-2.36 males per sq km in northern Utah (Paton and Dalton 1994). In Oregon, nest success was 0.65-0.69 (Pampush and Anthony 1993). In Utah, 2 of 10 monitored nests were successful (Paton and Dalton 1994).
Migration Characteristics:
(Global / Provincial)
 
    Nonmigrant:
    Local Migrant:
    Distant Migrant:
    Within Borders Migrant:
N /
N /
Y /
na /
Global Migration Comments: Migrates northward from wintering grounds March-April.

Arrives in Oregon and Washington March-April; most depart from breeding areas in Washington by end of July (Allen 1980). Arrives in northern Utah in late March, departs generally by mid-August (Paton and Dalton 1994).

Most depart northern part of breeding range by early August. Arrives in northernmost breeding areas mostly in April (De Smet 1992).
Habitats:
(Type / Subtype / Dependence)
Agriculture / Cultivated Field / Facultative - frequent use
Agriculture / Pasture/Old Field / Facultative - frequent use
Grassland/Shrub / Grassland / Facultative - frequent use
Grassland/Shrub / Meadow / Facultative - frequent use
Ocean / Intertidal Marine / Facultative - occassional use
Other Unique Habitats / Mudflats - Intertidal / Facultative - occassional use
Global Habitat Comments: BREEDING: Prairies and grassy meadows, generally near water (AOU 1983). Nests in dry prairies and moist meadows. Nests on ground usually in flat area with short grass, sometimes on more irregular terrain, often near rock or other conspicuous object. In Wyoming, often nests near manure pile if available (Cochran and Anderson 1987). In northern Utah, nests tended to be in small patches of short vegetation near barren ground (Paton and Dalton 1994). See De Smet (1992) and Pampush and Anthony (1993) for further details. NON-BREEDING: in migration and winter occurring also on beaches and mudflats (AOU 1983).
Food Habits: Invertivore: Adult, Immature
Global Food Habits Comments: Fairly opportunistic. Feeds on various insects (grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars, etc.). Eats some berries. During migration also feeds on crayfishes, crabs, snails, and toads. Grasshoppers and carabid beetles are dominant in the chick diet in Idaho (Redmond and Jenni 1985). May obtain insect larvae by probing into loose soil (Allen 1980). Predation on nestling birds has been observed. Picks food from ground or water, probes with bill in sand or mud in or near shallow water, plucks berries.
Global Phenology: Diurnal: Adult, Immature
Global Phenology Comments: On breeding grounds, activity may begin about a half hour before dawn, ends at dark as birds arrive at roost site (Allen 1980).
Provincial Phenology:
(1st half of month/
2nd half of month)
Colonial Breeder: N
Length(cm)/width(cm)/Weight(g): 58/ / 642
Elevation (m) (min / max): Global: 
Provincial: 
   
 
Distribution
Endemic: N
Global Range Comment: BREEDING: southern British Columbia, southern Alberta, southern Saskatchewan, southern Manitoba south to eastern Washington, northeastern California, Nevada, Utah, southern Colorado, New Mexico, and northern Texas east to southwestern Kansas. Probably extirpated in southern Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan (De Smet 1992). NON-BREEDING: central California, southern Arizona (rarely), extreme northern Mexico, southern Texas, southern Louisiana, coastal South Carolina south to southern Mexico (Oaxaca, Veracruz, Yucatan Peninsula) and northern Gulf Coast east to Florida, irregularly to Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Venezuela. See De Smet (1992) for further details.
 
Distribution UnitOccurrence StatusOrigin Status Migrant Status 
Biogeoclimatic Unit   
BG - BunchgrassConfident or certainNative or natural  
CDF - Coastal Douglas-firConfident or certainNative or natural  
CWH - Coastal Western HemlockConfident or certainNative or natural  
ICH - Interior Cedar - HemlockConfident or certainNative or natural  
IDF - Interior Douglas-firConfident or certainNative or natural  
PP - Ponderosa PineConfident or certainNative or natural  
SBPS - Sub-Boreal Pine - SpruceConfident or certainNative or natural  
SBS - Sub-Boreal SpruceConfident or certainNative or natural  
    
Ministry of Environment Region   
1- Vancouver IslandConfident or certainNative or naturalT - Transient  
2- Lower MainlandConfident or certainNative or naturalT - Transient  
3- ThompsonConfident or certainNative or naturalSC - Seasonal resident and confirmed breeder  
4- KootenayConfident or certainNative or naturalSC - Seasonal resident and confirmed breeder  
5- CaribooConfident or certainNative or naturalSC - Seasonal resident and confirmed breeder  
6- SkeenaConfident or certainNative or naturalT - Transient  
7- OminecaConfident or certainNative or naturalSC - Seasonal resident and confirmed breeder  
8- OkanaganConfident or certainNative or naturalSC - Seasonal resident and confirmed breeder  
    
Forest District   
100 Mile House Forest District (DMH)Confident or certainNative or naturalSC - Seasonal resident and confirmed breeder  
Campbell River Forest District (DCR)Confident or certainNative or naturalT - Transient  
Cascades Forest District (DCS)Confident or certainNative or naturalSC - Seasonal resident and confirmed breeder  
Central Cariboo Forest District (DCC)Confident or certainNative or naturalSC - Seasonal resident and confirmed breeder  
Chilcotin Forest District (DCH)Confident or certainNative or naturalSC - Seasonal resident and confirmed breeder  
Chilliwack Forest District (DCK)Confident or certainNative or naturalT - Transient  
Columbia Forest District (DCO)Confident or certainNative or naturalSC - Seasonal resident and confirmed breeder  
Headwaters Forest District (DHW)Confident or certainNative or naturalSC - Seasonal resident and confirmed breeder  
Kamloops Forest District (DKA)Confident or certainNative or naturalSC - Seasonal resident and confirmed breeder  
Kootenay Lake Forest District (DKL)Confident or certainNative or naturalSC - Seasonal resident and confirmed breeder  
North Coast Forest District (DNC)Confident or certainNative or naturalT - Transient  
North Island - Central Coast Forest District (DNI)Confident or certainNative or naturalT - Transient  
Okanagan Shuswap Forest District (DOS)Confident or certainNative or naturalSC - Seasonal resident and confirmed breeder  
Prince George Forest District (DPG)Confident or certainNative or naturalSP - Seasonal resident and probable breeder  
Quesnel Forest District (DQU)Confident or certainNative or naturalSC - Seasonal resident and confirmed breeder  
Rocky Mountain Forest District (DRM)Confident or certainNative or naturalSC - Seasonal resident and confirmed breeder  
South Island Forest District (DSI)Confident or certainNative or naturalT - Transient  
    
Regional District   
Alberni-Clayoquot (ACRD) Confident or certain Native or natural T - Transient  
Capital (CRD) Confident or certain Native or natural T - Transient  
Cariboo (CBRD) Confident or certain Native or natural SC - Seasonal resident and confirmed breeder  
Central Kootenay (CKRD) Confident or certain Native or natural SP - Seasonal resident and probable breeder  
Central Okanagan (CORD) Confident or certain Native or natural SH - Seasonal resident and current nonbreeder, historic breeder  
Columbia-Shuswap (CSRD) Confident or certain Native or natural SC - Seasonal resident and confirmed breeder  
East Kootenay (EKRD) Confident or certain Native or natural SC - Seasonal resident and confirmed breeder  
Fraser Valley (FVRD) Confident or certain Native or natural T - Transient  
Fraser-Fort George (FFRD) Confident or certain Native or natural SC - Seasonal resident and confirmed breeder  
Kootenay Boundary (KBRD) Confident or certain Native or natural T - Transient  
Metro Vancouver (MVRD) Confident or certain Native or natural T - Transient  
Mount Waddington (RDMW) Confident or certain Native or natural T - Transient  
North Okanagan (NORD) Confident or certain Native or natural SC - Seasonal resident and confirmed breeder  
Okanagan-Similkameen (OSRD) Confident or certain Native or natural SC - Seasonal resident and confirmed breeder  
Skeena-Queen Charlotte (SQCRD) Confident or certain Native or natural T - Transient  
Squamish-Lillooet (SLRD) Confident or certain Native or natural SC - Seasonal resident and confirmed breeder  
Strathcona (SRD) Confident or certain Native or natural T - Transient  
Thompson-Nicola (TNRD) Confident or certain Native or natural SC - Seasonal resident and confirmed breeder  
   
Regional District Map
This is not a range map.

This species is known to occur somewhere in the shaded regional district(s). The actual range of the species within each regional district may be much smaller.
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Authors / Contributors
Global Information Author: Hammerson, G.
Last Updated: Feb 16, 1995
Provincial Information Author:
Last Updated:
   
References and Related Literature
1998. Long-billed Curlew. B.C. Minist. Environ., Lands and Parks, Wildl. Branch. 2pp.
Allen, J. N. 1980. The ecology and behavior of the long-billed curlew in southeastern Washington. Wildl. Monogr. 73:1-67.
American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1983. Check-list of North American Birds, 6th edition. Allen Press, Inc., Lawrence, Kansas. 877 pp.
B.C. Ministry of Environment. Recovery Planning in BC. B.C. Minist. Environ. Victoria, BC. Available: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/recoveryplans/rcvry1.htm
Bent, A.C. 1929. Life histories of North American shorebirds (Part II). U.S. Natl. Mus. Bull. 146. Washington, D.C.
Blus, L. J., C. J. Henny, and A. J. Krynitsky. 1985. Organochlorine-induced mortality and residues in long-billedcurlews from Oregon. Condor 87:563-565.
British Columbia Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection. 2004. Long-billed Curlew in Accounts and measures for managing identified wildlife. British Columbia Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, Victoria, BC. 52pp.
Campbell, R.W., et al. 1990. The Birds of British Columbia, Vol. 2, Nonpasserines: Diurnal Birds of Prey through Woodpeckers. Royal B.C. Mus. in association with Environ. Can., Can. Wildl. Serv.
Campbell, R.W., et al. 1988. Species Notes for Selected Birds, Vol. 2 in A.P. Harcombe, tech. ed. 1988. B.C. Minist. Environ., Lands and Parks, Wildl. Branch. Rep. R-16. 131pp.
Cannings, R.J. 1999. Status of the Long-billed Curlew in British Columbia, B.C. Minist. Environ., Lands and Parks, Wildl. Branch. Working Rep. WR-96. 28pp.
Carter, M., C. Hunter, D. Pashley, and D. Petit. 1998. The Watch List. Bird Conservation, Summer 1998:10.
Carter, M., G. Fenwick, C. Hunter, D. Pashley, D. Petit, J. Price, and J. Trapp. 1996. Watchlist 1996: For the future. Field Notes 50(3):238-240.
Cochran, J. F., and S. H. Anderson. 1987. Comparison of habitat attributes at sites of stable and declining long- billed curlew populations. Great Basin Nat. 47:459-466.
COSEWIC. 2002m. COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Long-billed Curlew Numenius americanus in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. vii + 31 pp.
De Smet, K. D. 1992. Status report on the long-billed curlew NUMENIUS AMERICANUS in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). 28 pp.
Ehrlich, P. R., D. S. Dobkin, and D. Wheye. 1992. Birds in Jeopardy: the Imperiled and Extinct Birds of the United States and Canada, Including Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California. 259 pp.
Forest Practices Code. 1997. Long-Billed Curlew in Species and Plant Community Accounts for Identified Wildlife: Vol. 1. B.C. Minist. For. and B.C. Environ. 184pp.
Godfrey, W.E. 1966. The birds of Canada. National Museums of Canada. Ottawa. 428 pp.
Harrison, C. 1978. A Field Guide to the Nests, Eggs and Nestlings of North American Birds. Collins, Cleveland, Ohio.
Morrison, R. I. G., R. E. Gill, Jr., B. A. Harrington, S. Skagen, G. W. Page, C. L. Gratto-Trevor, and S. M. Haig. 2001. Estimates of shorebird populations in North America. Occasional Paper Number 104, Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada, Ottawa, ON. 64 pages.
Pampush, G. J., and R. G. Anthony. 1993. Nest success, habitat utilization and nest-site selection of long-billed curlews in the Columbia Basin, Oregon. Condor 95:957-967.
Paton, P. W. C., and J. Dalton. 1994. Breeding ecology of long-billed curlews at Great Salt Lake, Utah. Great Basin Nat. 54:79-85.
Redmond, R. L., and D. A. Jenni. 1985. Note on the diet of long-billed curlew chicks in western Idaho. Great Basin Nat. 45:85-86.
Redmond, R. L., and D. A. Jenni. 1986. Population ecology of the long-billed curlew (NUMENIUS AMERICANUS) in western Idaho. Auk 103:755-767.
Terres, J. K. 1980. The Audubon Society encyclopedia of North American birds. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 1987. Migratory nongame birds of management concern in the United States: the 1987 list. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Migratory Bird Management, Washington, D.C. 63 pp.
 

Please visit the website http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/cdc/Reports/summary_data_fields_08.htm for definitions of the data fields used in this summary report.

Suggested Citation:

B.C. Conservation Data Centre. 2016. Species Summary: Numenius americanus. B.C. Minist. of Environment. Available: http://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/eswp/ (accessed May 24, 2016).