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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Long-billed curlews of Madison County

Shore  birds and wading birds have always been a challenge for me to identify.  They all look the same except for their bills and sometimes I forget which way they should turn. 

The Long-billed curlew is one I have always been able to identify as the bill, flight and sounds were common to me when growing up.  Here three migrating curlews are displaying during breeding season.

They show up in Madison County in April as they search the muddy fields and marshes for worms; their probbing bills searching the soft ground. 

By the first of June, those that have raise young here are teaching them to fly, eat and protect themselves.

A rather large bird, but usually a shy and ellusive one.