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Bristle-thighed Curlew

ID Info
  • Bristle-thighed Curlew
  • Bristle-thighed Curlew
  • Bristle-thighed Curlew  video
Silhouette ShorebirdsShorebirds
Bristle-thighed CurlewNumenius tahitiensis
  • ORDER: Charadriiformes
  • FAMILY: Scolopacidae

Basic Description

The Bristle-thighed Curlew is an incredibly accomplished member of the sandpiper family: it can use tools when foraging, becomes briefly flightless while molting, and can fly 4,000 km (2,500 miles) without stopping to rest. These brownish, striped curlews can look like Whimbrels but their cinnamon rumps and quavering voices help set them apart. Breeding only on remote Alaskan tundra, Bristle-thighed Curlews fly nonstop to nonbreeding grounds on islands in the tropical Pacific. A versatile forager, this species feeds on terrestrial and marine invertebrates, berries, seabird eggs, lizards and more.

More ID Info
image of range map for Bristle-thighed Curlew
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Other Names

  • Zarapito del Pacífico (Spanish)
  • Courlis d'Alaska (French)
  • Cool Facts