Bristle-thighed Curlew: Large, brown-streaked shorebird with long decurved bill. Eye-line is dark, contrasting eyebrow is white. Rump is cinnamon-brown. Bristle-like feathers at base of legs are inconspicuous. Legs and feet are blue-gray. Strong, swift direct flight with legs trailing behind tail.
Range and Habitat
Bristle-thighed Curlew: Breed in a limited area of western Alaska, on the lower Yukon River and the central Seward Peninsula. Spends winters on a wide range of small islands in the south Pacific, including Hawaiian Islands, Mariana Islands, Micronesia, Fiji, Samoa, and French Polynesia. Preferred habitats include quiet, undisturbed beaches and coastal grassy fields and pastures.
Introduced cats and dogs prey heavily on flightless curlews, resulting in what is believed to be a population decline for these birds.
The Bristle-thighed Curlew is the only shorebird to have a completely flightless period during their molt. This strategy undoubtedly evolved long ago, in response to the absence of any mammalian predators on its Pacific island wintering grounds.
They were first described during James Cook's visits to Tahiti in the 18th century, but their summer nesting grounds weren't identified until 1948.
A group of curlews has many collective nouns, including a "curfew", "game", "head", "salon", and "skein" of curlews.
The Bristle-thighed Curlew has a large range, extending across North America, South America and parts of Europe and New Zealand. It is primarily found in the area of the lower Yukon River and central Seward Peninsula when breeding, and winters on oceanic islands. The bird prefers grassland and marine climates. The global population of the bird is around ten thousand, though only 7,000 are of breeding age. The bird meets IUCN Red List Criteria for both population size and population decline, garnering it an evaluation status of Vulnerable.