Long-billed Curlews (Numenius americanus) are North America's largest shorebird and in Canada breed in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan and the interior of British Columbia. Approximately 16% of the Long-billed Curlew's global breeding range is in Canada. The species is designated by the federal Species at Risk Act as a species of Special Concern. In British Columbia the curlew is Blue-listed and considered Vulnerable.
Over the past 150 years, Long-billed Curlews in North America have declined and their range has contracted, partially due to agricultural intensification. However, in B.C. the curlew has been expanding across the province over that time period, which has happened as natural grasslands have been converted to agricultural land, which has resulted in birds breeding on cultivated land. What we don't know is how nesting success in these habitats compares to those nests in natural grasslands. We also do not know the exact wintering locations of those birds that breed in the East Kootenays or the Prince George area, nor do we know the routes that they take to get to and from their breeding sites.
Our study aims to determine the relative success of curlew nests in agricultural habitats versus natural grasslands, as well as to determine the non-breeding sites and migration routes using a combination of volunteer roadside surveys, detailed monitoring of nesting sites, and satellite tracking.
Fieldwork from 2017 in the East Kootenays and 2019 in the Prince George area will help answer these questions, allow comparison between natural and agricultural areas, and document migration movements from some of the most northern breeding Long-billed Curlews.
Move the gray rectangular slider at the bottom of the interactive map to animate the birds' movements.
Notes: Hover the cursor over a dot to view the bird's name. Click on it for location details
Sliding a bird's marker along its path allows you to see where the other birds were when your bird was at the marker location. You can also use the calendar to see where all the birds were on a given date.