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Long-billed Curlew Photos

Photography by Terry Sohl

My Favorite: I first started birding in the winter of 1999/2000. On my first trip to the Fort Pierre National Grasslands that winter, I saw my first Gyrfalcon, and...I was hooked. My 2nd trip there was on April 1st, 2000, when I started walking a prairie dog town. As I walked, a large bird flew in front of me, and dropped to the ground about 40 yards ahead. As I approached, I had to rub my eyes...what...the..hell..was...this!?!? As a new birder, I'd never heard of a Long-billed Curlew, but I was immediately fascinated. However, after that first sighting, I went many years before seeing another in South Dakota. They've been a bit of a nemesis bird for me, but in June 2017, while on a rock-hounding and birding trip with my son, we were headed to our B&B for the night, when a Long-billed Curlew flew over the road and landed in the field to our west. It was quite some ways away, but given how rarely I'd seen them in the state, I stopped the car, we got out, and approached the fence line to get a better look. Much to our surprise, instead of flushing and flying away, it started rapidly walking...right towards us!! It kept coming, moving to within about 10 before starting to pace up and down the prairie, parallel to our position, stopping periodically to face us and give a rather harsh alarm call.  By FAR the best looks I've had of a Long-billed Curlew, and it didn't take long to see why...two fuzz-balls moving in the prairie behind the bird...her young. Seeing the young, we backed off towards the car to give the family some space, but we managed to get many nice photos of a species that will always be one of my favorites.

Long-billed Curlew - Numenius americanus

Long-billed Curlew 1 - Numenius americanus Long-billed Curlew 2 - Numenius americanus Long-billed Curlew 3 - Numenius americanus Long-billed Curlew 4 - Numenius americanus

Long-billed Curlew 1

July 27th, 2009

Antelope Island, Utah

Long-billed Curlew 2

July 27th, 2009

Antelope Island, Utah

Long-billed Curlew 3

July 27th, 2009

Antelope Island, Utah

Long-billed Curlew 4

July 27th, 2009

Antelope Island, Utah

Long-billed Curlew 5 - Numenius americanus

Long-billed Curlew 6 - Numenius americanus

Long-billed Curlew 7 - Numenius americanus

Long-billed Curlew 8 - Numenius americanus

Long-billed Curlew 5

July 27th, 2009

Antelope Island, Utah

Long-billed Curlew 6

July 27th, 2009

Antelope Island, Utah

Long-billed Curlew 7

June 24th, 2017
Near Philip, South Dakota

Long-billed Curlew 8

June 24th, 2017
Near Philip, South Dakota

Long-billed Curlew 9 - Numenius americanus

Long-billed Curlew 10 - Numenius americanus

Long-billed Curlew 11 - Numenius americanus

Long-billed Curlew 12 - Numenius americanus

Long-billed Curlew 9

June 24th, 2017
Near Philip, South Dakota

Long-billed Curlew 10

June 24th, 2017
Near Philip, South Dakota

Long-billed Curlew 11

June 24th, 2017
Near Philip, South Dakota

Long-billed Curlew 12

June 24th, 2017
Near Philip, South Dakota

Long-billed Curlew 13 - Numenius americanus

Long-billed Curlew 14 - Numenius americanus

Long-billed Curlew 13

June 24th, 2017
Near Philip, South Dakota

Long-billed Curlew 14

June 24th, 2017
Near Philip, South Dakota

Click here for the species description page for the Long-billed Curlew.


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