This large, long-legged shorebird is most notable for its extremely long, down-curved bill, adapted for foraging for earthworms, crabs, and other deep-burrowing prey. Although classified as shorebirds, Long-billed Curlews are more commonly found on prairie habitats.
The principal threat to this species is loss of habitat; grasslands are increasingly being taken over for agriculture, developments, and recreational use. Non-native, invasive plants such as yellow starthistle can make habitat unsuitable for curlew nesting as well.
The Long-billed Curlew’s declining numbers in the Great Plains and disappearing breeding and wintering habitat make it a high-priority species for conservation throughout its range.
ABC is involved with several projects aimed at delivering full life-cycle conservation of the Long-billed Curlew. Work with Mexian NGO ProNatura and other partners to protect critical wintering areas is ongoing, and other projects aim to enhance habitat across the curlew’s breeding range.