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Eurasian curlew

It is our largest of waders– in a size of a large crow but on long legs, with a long neck and a distinctive, very long, curved down-curved bill. A bill of the female is usually longer. They also tend to be slightly larger than their partners. They are both grey-beige, densely mottled over the body.
 
The eurasian curlew is a real asset of wetlands -  it can be seen in meadows, pastures, open bogs and swamps. It walks gracefully like an old-fashioned officer, reaching with a long bill for the large insects, snails, worms, mussels and various invertebrates - including those hiding in the soft soil or mud.
 
Birds return to their breeding sites in March and April. Upon arrival the tooting begins, during which the eurasian curlew soars  flapping its wings high and quickly to glide then to the ground. It is accompanied by beautiful flute whistles and calls. One can hear characteristic "kuliiik" ... and it is already known where its name came from  - he calls it itself. Not only in Polish.
 
A couple builds together a nest on the ground, hidden somewhere in a clump of grass. Most often four pear-shaped and relatively large eggs are covered with perfect masking texture – a common feature for the waders. Anyway, bold curlews come to grips with most intruders. It is not surprising that many timid birds willingly build their nest in the vicinity of a curlew pair, taking advantage of such a protection umbrella. Long-life curlews mate for life - if only they are lucky enough.
 
Return migration begins in late summer. Curlews spend winter in the Western and Southern Europe and along the coastline of Africa. Some - even in western Poland. ... As long as the weather allows it.
 
In Poland, there are about 650-700 pairs of curlews hatched - with a downward trend. A threat to this species is the loss of habitat - including primarily reclamation and intensification of agriculture, strong penetration of breeding sites and hunting on migration routes.
 
Author: Jacek Karczewski Source: Birds of Poland

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