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Eurasian curlew

- Remembers like an elephant
The Eurasian curlew is Denmark’s largest wader. This was one of the reasons that it was previously such a popular hunting object. In the mid-1800s, the species became extinct as a breeding bird, but it has since re-colonised after hunting restrictions were introduced in 1931, and the species became fully protected in 1994. The number of resting birds has particularly risen steadily. The Eurasian curlew can live a long life - up to 20-30 years. Since it is also believed to have a memory like an elephant, the bad experiences with disturbances and hunting at resting areas has meant that Eurasian curlew became very shy and stayed away from the Danish coast. After the protection was introduced, a more confident generation of curlews has slowly grown up, who like staying in Denmark. Today there are more than three times as many resting curlews in Denmark, as there were in the mid-1970s. 
Eurasian curlew, © Biopix SD Lund
Males and females have different favourite foods
Eurasian curlews have a very long downward pointing beak. The female beak is clearly longer than the male's. This means that they have different dishes on the menu. Females like looking for food on tidal flats where they catch buried sand worms. Males prefer cropped meadows, where they examine cow dung for insect larvae. In this way, the male and female avoid competing for the same food.
The Eurasian plover is Denmark’s largest wading bird with a length of 55 cm and a wingspan of 80 to 100 cm. It can be recognised by its long downward pointing beak. Its plumage is spotted brown-grey. It feeds on sand worms, snails, insect larvae, crustaceans, clams and berries. It breeds in Northern Scandinavia and winters in Western Europe. Despite growth in the number of migratory birds in Denmark, the population of Eurasian curlew has sharply declined on a European level. On the global red list of the planet's endangered birds, it is now listed as ”almost threatened”.

Eurasian curlew, © Biopix JC Schou