The Long-billed Curlews are winging their way to Utah

Long-billed Curlew feeding in a lagoonLong-billed Curlew feeding in a lagoon – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm at 340mm, natural light

Long-billed Curlews have begun to leave or have left their wintering grounds and should be winging their way to Utah and arriving here any day now. Their calls will soon be heard at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Antelope Island State Park and beyond. It won’t be long before there will be aerial displays, territorial disputes and pair bonding.

Long-billed Curlew at the edge of a lagoonLong-billed Curlew at the edge of a lagoon – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/800, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm at 330mm, natural light

Last week I thought I heard a lone Long-billed Curlew call while I was on Antelope Island State Park photographing other birds but the sound only happened once and perhaps it was just wistful thinking on my part. I do miss these graceful grassland shorebirds when they are gone for the winter and last year they showed up the middle of March. It has been very spring-like here and they might just show up early. I know I can barely wait to see, hear and photograph them in Utah and shortly after that in Montana.


P.S. The Long-billed Curlew in these images were taken in Florida in 2009.

Additional posts you might enjoy:

About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. Mother Nature is amazing, isn’t she? Gorgeous guy … that bill is such an incredible and awe-inspiring adaptation … GREAT photo of course!!!!!

  2. Wonderful! Can Spring be that far off???

  3. Winging their way to Utah – to make camp in your heart. In the crowded bird camp of your heart.

  4. Beautiful images of our largest (23-inches) sandpiper, which is mostly a western bird — according to my Kaufman field guide. I haven’t seen one yet either.

  5. They really do have long bills:) I’ve been looking for this bird this year… far no luck. I know they are migrating:)

  6. Nice and grateful bird, great photos :)

  7. Lovely Photos Mia…love the front lit effect..

  8. They are pretty neat birds. Love that last shot a lot.

Comments are closed