Day 14

  It is being discovered that much of the research in relation to curlew that is relied upon to inform management is now out of date. This year the Curlew Country project has purchased some GPS tags to fit to adult curlew with the aim of discovering more about their territories and local and pre-migratory feeding roosts. Curlew depend on a range of habitat over the migratory...
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Day 13

  Grassland grazed by cattle and sheep can be more ecologically interesting than grassland grazed solely by sheep. Sheep tend to graze the sward more closely leaving a lesser area of habitat. Curlew are thought to feed on some of the invertebrates associated with cattle dung.   The Curlew Country study area is much affected by TB. Farmers dread this disease being found ...
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Day 12

  Once chicks have hatched they are fitted with rings and tiny radio tags to help us to understand better what chicks require until they fledge.   This year, following the devastating chick losses of the previous years, the Curlew Country project has applied for a licence to incubate eggs returning them to the nest as chicks. The licence from Natural England has just been re...
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Day 11

  The eggs are incubated for about four weeks and the time from hatching until fledging is variable, but can be about 5 or 6 weeks. Food availability for chicks can affect the length of time it takes for chicks to fledge. Curlew Fact Curlew chicks will take 2 to 3 days to break their way out of an egg.
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Day 10

  Although territorial, adult curlews will still co-operate to fend off predators. As numbers dwindle and nests are further apart, curlew communities are less able to successfully fend off predators and more vulnerable to nest failure. We have seen a curlew pinning a crow to the ground and attacking it with its long bill. Curlew Fact The Latin name for the Eurasian Cur...
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Day 9

  Curlews return to local nesting territories from February onwards. Nests are usually started in April, but we are learning that a number of factors contribute to nesting time, including grass length of potential nest sites, access to good feeding sites enabling the birds to get into condition and the effect the weather has on these other factors. Curlew Fact Curlew u...
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Day 8

  2017 is the third year of Curlew Country nest monitoring. In previous years cameras and thermal data loggers were used on over 30 nests to establish why curlew are failing to breed successfully. No chicks survived from the nests. Most of the nests were predated at egg stage and failed to hatch chicks. The main predator was found to be the fox, but badgers did predate a few...
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Day 7

  This nest was found by the farmer when out checking on his livestock. The Curlew Country project works in close partnership with farmers who are generally keen to support these birds if we find a nest on their land. Unfortunately curlew nests are notoriously difficult to find and this can leave nests at risk of unintentional disturbance by routine agricultural operations. ...
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Day 6

  We have noticed that local birds tend to choose grassland of about 30cms in length that is long enough to hide in, but short enough to look out of if necessary. Adults need to be able to hide safely as well as lookout over the vegetation during the early stages of nesting when they are more visible. Curlew Fact The nest is a shallow indentation in the grass. It is ma...
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Day 5

  Away from moorland and upland areas, curlew have nested in traditional hay meadows which are now much rarer on farmland. Their nesting sites may now be grazed by cattle and/or sheep, or in a crop of silage or hay. This pair are nesting in cattle grazed pasture with rush (juncus) suggesting that there is damp ground for them to feed in nearby. Curlew Fact Curlew are r...
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