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These past few weeks I’ve featured images from time to time of birds that are just passing through — birds in migration that are making brief stopovers in our area. Here’s another example. This is a Long-billed Curlew.
Long-billed Curlews are “shorebirds,” meaning birds whose natural habitat often includes edges of bodies of water, including ponds, estuaries, and bays. This bird is evolved for a lifestyle of probing in sediments for food such as small invertebrates. Its long legs enable it to stand in several inches of water as it forages, and its extremely long beak is an ideal tool for probing in mud and silt.
The individual that I depict in today’s post is probably a male. Females have even longer beaks than the males have.
Obviously, the Long-billed Curlew is no desert dweller. The species spends its summers on North America’s northwestern plains. In winters, it inhabits Mexico and points south. Southern Arizona is directly in the curlews’ migration route, so we get to see them occasionally this time of year. Another benefit of living where we live.
Image made with a Canon R5, Canon EF 400mm f4 DO II lens+Canon EF 1.4x telextender, M setting (auto ISO), ISO 1600, f5.6 @ 1/2500, +1/3 stop exposure compensation.