Hot Waders, Hot Topics – Distinguishing Male from Female

Blog by Amanda Perkins, Curlew Country Project Manager

During the first 19 days of Curlew Cam over 27,700 views have been made.  We are getting lots of wonderful enquiries and observations from you and are keen to help but a small team, even without reduced hours, could not keep up.  Our website is a great resource for more information, so we would highly encourage you explore these pages to find out more about Curlew and what we do at Curlew Country.  The ‘About Us’ and ‘News’ sections should be helpful.  There is an FAQ section here or take our Curlew Quiz to give you some more insight.  In the meantime, we will try and answer some of the main queries in the next few days.

Some viewers are struggling to distinguish the male from the female even at a changeover (and so are some of us).  The lens distorts the bill length and the relative size of the birds but gives a better overall view of the nest.  The easiest way to distinguish male and female is to look at a changeover (when one adult swaps with another to take over incubation duty).  The female has a yellow colour ring on her left leg with the code ‘ID’ on it, while the male has a yellow colour ring on his left leg with the code ‘BI’.  To see ornithologist, Tony Cross’ post on ringing, click here.  Assistant field ornithologist Tim has noticed that the female has a bill with more of the lighter brown colour variation on it. Don’t forget, you can scroll back through the last 12 hours of footage, by simply dragging back along the progress bar.

Female with colour ring ‘ID’ visible
Male with colour ring ‘BI’ visible

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