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Support Idaho Bird Observatory’s Long-billed Curlew Satellite Tracking Project

Anna Fasoli|

A male Long-billed Curlew calls to a nearby female.

In the summer of 2011, Alex and I spent a few months working for Idaho Bird Observatory near Boise, Idaho. We spent a lot of time on public lands searching for Long-billed Curlew nests in a region that once had a healthy population of nesting curlews. What we found was not what we had expected (as two hopeful biologists); we found just a handful of curlew nests, and even worse, we found a number of dead curlews near their nests (Long-billed Curlews become an unfortunate target for many folks who practice target shooting on this area of public lands). In addition, the few nests that we found were not successful. In looking at some of the historical records for the area, the decline in nest density over the years is frightening. It is likely a combination of factors (including illegal shooting, habitat loss, and poor habitat quality) causing the decline of curlews in this area, as IBO has seen this general trend over the past few field seasons. To get more answers, IBO is going to being tracking Long-billed Curlews through satellite telemetry this upcoming field season. For more information specifically about this project, please visit the IBO Rockethub Donation page. Your contribution of $10 (or more!) is not only appreciated, but needed by yet another declining species on a unique landscape. Today is the LAST DAY to donate through the Rocket Hub page. Nemesis Bird has 870 “likes” on facebook; if everyone donated just $10….think of the impact!!!!!

Here are just a few photos I took during my summer in Idaho. There are many, many more bird and mammal species that can be found on this landscape. In protecting and researching Long-billed Curlews, all of these critters will benefit!

LAST MINUTE DONATION CONTEST!!!!

Today is the LAST DAY to donate to IBO ‘s upcoming Long-billed Curlew satellite tracking project. As a last minute boost, we are encouraging everyone to donate just $10 (or more). If you donate, your name will be put into a drawing to win an 8×10 photo from Nemesis Bird. Please COMMENT ON THE FACEBOOK PAGE CONTEST POST with your full name AFTER making your donation. After cross referencing the list with the list of donors on the website, a drawing will be held, and one person will be selected as the winner!

If you have already donated to IBO through Rocket Hub, you will also be included in the drawing; just post your name as a COMMENT ON THE FACEBOOK PAGE CONTEST POST. Please direct questions to annafasoli@gmail.com.

 

American Badgers share the landscape with Long-billed Curlews in Idaho. While this mammal is extremely fiesty, it unfortunately can't protect itself from illegal poaching.

American Badgers share the landscape with Long-billed Curlews in Idaho. While this mammal is extremely feisty (yes, it is growling in the photo!), it unfortunately can’t protect itself from illegal poaching.

Public land can unfortunately attract the wrong kind of people who don't appreciate it.

Public land can unfortunately attract the wrong kind of people who don’t appreciate it. In this photo, unwanted items and garbage have been piled up along a dirt road. Just over the hill, we observed many male curlews, but did not see many female curlews, and found no nests.

Can you see the eye of the  Long-billed Curlew? This female was barely visible on her nest.

Can you see the eye of the Long-billed Curlew? This female was barely visible on her nest. Despite the extreme camouflage of this nest, it was not successful.

A male Long-billed Curlew calls to a nearby female.

A male Long-billed Curlew calls to a nearby female. I have never seen individual males work so hard to defend their mates from other males! There is an obvious lack of females on the IBO study sites, but we are not sure why.

Swainson's Hawks, like this light intermediate juvenile bird, are also part of the landscape in curlew country. Hundreds of them gather here to hunt insects and ground squirrels.

Swainson’s Hawks, like this light intermediate juvenile bird, are also part of the landscape in curlew country. Hundreds, if not thousands of them, gather here to hunt insects and ground squirrels. Unfortunately, the lively population of ground squirrels attract hundreds of target shooters, and the abundance of ground squirrel carcasses attract an excessive number of scavenging raptors. While they are part of the landscape, their impact on Long-billed Curlews (think chick depredation) may be exaggerated because of this.

Long-tailed Weasels find it hard to resist the attention of a camera!

Long-tailed Weasels find it hard to resist the attention of a camera! While weasels are very likely a natural nest predators, we only saw a handful during the season.

 

 

 

About the Author

Anna Fasoli

Anna is a field biologist who has traveled all over the US working on different research projects. She has worked with Whooping Cranes, Northern Saw-whet Owls, Least Terns, Piping Plovers, Wilson's Snipe, Whimbrel, Yellow-billed Cuckoos, migrant eastern raptors, Crested Caracara, Long-billed Curlew, Florida Scrub-Jays and the southeastern subspecies of American Kestrels.

  • Icegull

    Hi Anna, do you know about the Long-billed Curlew that spends time in St Petersburg every year 6 weeks maybe, I can check that (& exact dates-not summer), but someone thot it was a female. “She” has been visiting every year for at least 3 yrs, no bands, all by herself. We always wonder how she found us, blown off course maybe.