A few days ago I read that a Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus) had been spotted on Antelope Island State Park and that got me excited. I’ve waited to see them again since they left last fall and I simply can not wait to hear their mysterious and hauntingly beautiful call.
When I still lived in Florida I would see Long-billed Curlews in very different habitats than I do here in Utah. I found them on the sandy shorelines of the Gulf of Mexico, strolling around the Sea Oats in the dunes, foraging in tidal lagoons and in Spartina marshes. They were lovely, graceful and interesting birds to photograph. But they did not call. Not once did I hear them.
In both Utah and Montana I see the birds most often in the grasses, on the shorelines of the freshwater marshes, lakes and ponds, near Sagebrush on gentle slopes and the edges of the Great Salt Lake.
On their breeding grounds here in Utah and in Montana I do hear them call. It is a sound that once I heard it I knew I’d never forget. Will I hear them today when I am out in the field?
I sure hope so.
Listen to the call of a Long-billed Curlew on this page