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curlew(kûr`lo͞o), common name for large shore birds of both hemispheres, generally brown and buff in color and with decurved bills. There are eight species, belonging to the genus Numenius. The long-billed curlew, N. americanus, its bill almost one third the body length (about 2 ft/61 cm), is now rare in the E United States; it frequents salt marshes, prairies, and tidal creeks in the West. In summer it eats locusts and other injurious insects. The Hudsonian and the nearly extinct Eskimo curlews migrate from arctic breeding grounds to South America. The bristle-thighed curlew summers and nests in Alaska and winters on South Pacific islands, where it feeds on the eggs of other birds. The curlew makes a nonstop flight between breeding grounds. Some of the godwits and ibises are called curlews. Curlews are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Charadriiformes, family Scolopacidae.
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any large shore bird of the genus Numenius, such as N. arquata of Europe and Asia: family Scolopacidae (sandpipers, etc.), order Charadriiformes. They have a long downward-curving bill and occur in northern and arctic regions.
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005