World Curlew Day is observed every April 21 by various environmental organizations to raise awareness about the problems faced by curlews. Curlews are a group of birds comprising nine species from the genus Numenius. Long, slender, downcurved bills and mottled brown plumage are characteristics that can easily help identify the bird. Mary Colwell started the day in 2017 as a grassroots initiative to help protect the species. The plight of the bird is mostly man-made, and it is our primary responsibility to make the planet a safe place for not just humans, but all other living beings as well.
History of World Curlew Day
About 4.5 billion years ago, the earth began its existence as a hot mess. It gradually cooled for over a billion years. Fossil evidence points to the existence of life around 3.5 billion years ago. From then on, evolution shaped the nature, size, and behaviors of every species into the forms we see today. But this is not the end. The upcoming years will witness the evolution of various species. But the upcoming years will also witness the extinction of some of our beloved species due to human activities. To save various species from extinction, various laws are made, organizations are created, and campaigns are run. But the root cause of the problem is always human greed for more, and it will not decrease easily.
One such species that need our immediate help is the curlew. Habitat loss and predation on eggs and young birds are the major causes of the reduction of curlew numbers. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates a 20–30% reduction in curlew breeding numbers in the past 15 years. If the condition of the birds had not improved in the coming years, we might have lost the entire species within eight years.
Curlews are migratory birds. The U.K. is an important country for the curlew, housing around a quarter of the world’s breeding population. We consider curlew the most important priority for conservation. With us starting the change, a bright future for these amazing birds is still possible.
World Curlew Day timeline
St. Beuno — the patron saint of curlews — is canonized.
Curlews gets the status of ‘near threatened’ globally.
Mary Colwell completes the 500-mile walk to raise awareness for the conservation of curlews.
Mary Colwell publishes the book “Curlew Moon” detailing the plight of curlews.
World Curlew Day FAQs
Where does the curlew live?
It breeds in the grasslands of the Great Plains and Great Basin. During winter, they can be found throughout the wetlands, tidal estuaries, mudflats, and flooded fields.
What do you feed curlews?
Feed them insects, mollusks, small lizards, seeds, and small mammals.
Why is it called a curlew?
Curlews are well known for their signature calls. The sound range from “Curlee – Curlee.”
How to Observe World Curlew Day
Spread awareness about curlews
Gather as much information as possible about the species. Arrange posters showcasing the statistics and graphics representing the sorrowful condition of the species.
Donate to make a better world
Fundraise for any organization working for the betterment of curlews. We can at least collect a small amount from our close friends and donate it to the cause.
Volunteer for rescue
There are organizations all over the world working towards making a better world for other species. Volunteer with any such organization and be a part of the rescue operations.
5 Intriguing Facts About Curlews
They are monogamous
Curlew mate for life, meaning they only will have one partner for their entire life.
The girls are bigger
Female curlews are larger and have longer bills.
They are hard-working fathers
Male curlews do most of the rearing activities.
A month-long gestation period
Curlew eggs can take up to 22 – 28 days to hatch.
The largest of the breed
Far Eastern curlew is the largest among the curlews.
Why World Curlew Day is Important
We love life
Every life matters so we must speak up to save lives. We love curlews and want to see them fly through the skies freely.
Biodiversity is important
Biodiversity is always an important factor in keeping the balance of the ecosystem. A loss for a species means a loss for the entire ecosystem.
A good day to spread awareness
This is a perfect day to make the public aware of the condition of the birds and their status. People who understand the impact of the condition of curlews can also join the mission to save the species.
World Curlew Day dates