172 (Eurasian) Curlew
(Numenius arquata)


48-57cm Largest wader, with unmistakable very long, evenly decurved bill (longest on female, shorter on male and juv.). Easily confused only with usually less common Whimbrel. Uniformly streaked and barred grey-brown, with no outstanding plumage features. Flight rather slow, gull-like. Note pointed white rump and darker outer primaries.


The Eurasian Curlew in Hungary is a regular, but rare breeder in sedge marshes and boggy meadows in Transdanubia (Hanság, Kis-Balaton, Sárrét) and on the Danube-Tisza Plain. Large flocks migrate through the Great Plain both in spring (February-April) and autumn (August-November) and also common, though in small numbers in Transdanubia. Oversummers, often in large numbers, at alkali lakes, fishponds and flooded grasslands especially in the Great Plain. Some stay in mild winters.

Can be found in the following IBAs

07 BA)

172 (Eurasian) Curlew pic

© Graphics by Szabolcs Kókay

Source: 1) Lovászi Péter (editor): Javasolt különleges madárvédelmi területek Magyarországon, Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2002; 2) BirdLife International:IUCN Red List for birds. Species factsheet; 3) Králl Attila, Nagy Károly: Fontos Madárélőhelyek Magyarországon (Területek, kritériumok és minősítő fajok) MME Monitoring Központ, 2007; 4) Szabolcs Kókay bird illustrations; 5) www.hungarianbirdwatching.com bird descriptions and checklists, 2004-2012; 6) Lars Svensson et al.: Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe 2nd Edition, Harper Collins, 2010; 7) MME Nomenclator Bizottság: Nomenclator avium Hungariae. An annotated list of the birds of Hungary. Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2008