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Curlews in drastic decline

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new audio greeting card featuring the evocative call of the Curlew, a bird on the brink of extinction. The aim of the card is to spread awareness of the plight of this species and has been inspired by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, who has also kindly written words on the inside of the card.

“The hauntingly evocative cry of the Curlew is now increasingly, rarely heard; however, I believe that we still have the opportunity to reverse this decline. A wealth of evidence exists to support the need for habitat improvement, targeted predator control and, indeed, the raising of public awareness and I am delighted that this card, and its promotion of the Curlew Forum, will go some way towards the latter.

 Action needs to be accelerated to ensure that we do not lose this iconic bird and I do hope that those interested in becoming involved in providing support will make enquiries via the Forum website, Curlewcall.org.”

His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales

Curlew - Numenius arquata

Curlews are the UK’s largest wading bird, about the size of a herring gull on long legs.  They are predominantly brown, but closer inspection reveals an intricate patterning of brown, cream and grey that shifts in hue with the sun.  In the winter you’ll see many around our coasts and estuaries, the numbers boosted by winter visitors from Finland and Scandinavia. Come the Spring however, most of these return home to breed and our own birds head for the meadows and hills to nest.

Their scientific name is Numenius arquata.  Numenius means new moon and arquata means bow-like - they refer to the shape of the bill. The female’s bill is longer than the male’s allowing them to feed on different creatures buried in mud and soft sediment.  They are sensitive and open independently at the end, which looks quite odd - but this allows them to feel for hidden worms, crustaceans and snails. (Words from Curlew Moon, by Mary Colwell)

The Curlew is on the brink of extinction so act now and get involved.

See www.curlewcall.org for the latest news and ways in which you can help!

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