Numenius americanus Bechstein, 1812, New York. Two subspecies.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
French: Courlis а long bec; German: Rostbrachvogel; Spanish: Zarapito Americano.
19.7–25.6 in (50–65 cm); male 0.98–1.74 lb (445–792 g), female 1.25–2.09 lb (570–951 g). A large curlew with a dropletshaped billtip. Speckled black and cinnamon-buff upperparts; cinnamon underparts. Female averages larger, with a longer bill.
N. a. parvus: south British Columbia east to Manitoba and south to California and South Dakota, wintering from California and Louisiana to Mexico; N. a. americanus: Nevada east to South Dakota and south to Texas, wintering from California and Texas to Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Guatemala.
Breeds on prairies; nonbreeders occur at marshes, estuaries, and farmland.
Territorial when breeding.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Eats insects, in nonbreeding season also crustaceans, mollusks, worms, toads, and berries.
Monogamous. Lays April–May. Nests in short grass; clutch contains three to five eggs; incubation is 27–28 days; fledges at 41–45 days.
Breeding range has contracted westwards due to loss of prairies to agriculture. Population of N. a. parvus was 6,400 in 1992, apparently declining; species’ overall numbers may be stable.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Previously heavily hunted, now fully protected.
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