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Eskimo Curlew

A vanishing species?

JPG - Curlew in meadow


J.B. Gollop, T.W. Barry and E.H. Iversen


published by

Nature Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan Natural History Society
Room 206, 1860 Lorne St.
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 2L7

"The beauty and genius of a work of art may be reconceived, though its first material expression be destroyed; a vanished harmony may yet again inspire the composer; but when the last individual of a race of living things breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again."
-- William Beebe, 1906

GIF - Nature Saskatchewan Logo

Nature Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan Natural History Society
Room 206, 1860 Lorne St.
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 2L7
Phone: (306) 780-9273 Fax: (306) 780-9263

Special Publications of the Saskatchewan Natural History Society (Nature Saskatchewan).

This resource is based on the following source:
Gollop, J.B., T.W. Barry, and E.H. Iversen.  1986.  Eskimo curlew a vanishing
     species?  Saskatchewan Natural History Society Special Publication No. 17, 
     Regina, Saskatchewan.  160pp.
This resource should be cited as:
Gollop, J.B., T.W. Barry, and E.H. Iversen.  1986.  Eskimo curlew a vanishing
     species?  Saskatchewan Natural History Society Special Publication No. 17.
     Regina, Saskatchewan.  Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     (Version 16JUL97).

Table of Contents

Glimpses of the Eskimo Curlew
Current Status
Field Identification
A Curlew By Many Other Names
Two Nest Searches for the Eskimo Curlew -- A Century Apart
Life History -- Briefly Stated

The Eskimo Curlew's Year

Northwest Territories
Fall Migration in northern North America
Siberia, USSR Alaska (also spring) Ungava, Quebec Labrador, Newfoundland Southern Quebec
New Brunswick Prince Edward Island Nova Scotia Manitoba (also spring) Ontario
Fall Migration in southern North America
Maine Massachusetts Rhode Island Connecticut Michigan
Ohio Pennsylvania New York New Jersey Maryland
Carolinas North Carolina South Carolina Georgia Florida
Introduction to Oceanic Migration
Oceanic Migration
Bermuda San Salvador Island Turks Islands Puerto Rico Guadeloupe
Martinique St. Vincent Barbados Carriacou (Grendadines) Grenada
Trinidad & Tobago Guyanas British Guiana Brazil Peru
Bolivia Paraguay
Chile Uruguay Argentina Falkland Islands
Spring Migration (South)
Galapagos Islands Costa Rica Guatemala Mexico New Mexico
Texas Mississippi River Valley Louisiana Mississippi Arkansas Oklahoma
Colorado Kansas Missouri Missouri River Drainage Argentina Falkland Islands
Spring Migration (North)
Illinois Indiana Nebraska Iowa Wyoming
South Dakota Minnesota Wisconsin Montana North Dakota Manitoba
Saskatchewan Alberta Alaska (see fall) California
North Atlantic Stragglers
Greenland Iceland Ireland Great Britain
"Last of the Curlews"

Appendix 1 -- A summary of R.R. MacFarlanes's specimen notes on Eskimo Curlews collected near the Anderson River, Northwest Territories, 1862-1866
Appendix 2 -- Records of Eskimo Curlews on the Labrador coast, 1770-1786, from George Cartwright's diary
Appendix 3 -- Excerpts on curlews from "The Sportsman's Gazetteer and General Guide" by Charles Hallock, 1877
Appendix 4 -- Current common names of birds referred to in the text
Appendix 5 -- Scientific names of birds referred to in the text, based on the American Ornithologists' Union Check-list 1983

Bibliography A-L
Bibliography M-Z

List of Maps

Map 1 -- Northwest Territories, showing probable breeding area of Eskimo Curlew.
Map 2 -- Anderson River-Franklin Bay area, showing MacFarlane's overland collecting route.
Map 3 -- North America showing migration routes, monthly distribution and breeding range of the Eskimo Curlew. Inset: 1915 map of Eskimo Curlew range (Cooke 1915b).
Map 4 -- South America showing monthly distribution of Eskimo Curlew reports and potential wintering area.
Map 5 -- Range of crowberry, Empetrum nigrum ssp. hermaphroditum, in North America.
Map 6 -- Some Eskimo Curlew locations on the Labrador coast, mainly those of George Cartwright, 1770-1786.

List of Figures

Figure 1 -- Reproduction of MacFarlane's specimen note for Item #1800.
Figure 2 -- Eskimo Curlew, Galveston Island, Texas, 1962. Photo.
Figure 3 -- Another Eskimo Curlew, Galveston Island, Texas, 1962. Note differences in the bill. Photo
Figure 4 -- Little Curlew near Santa Maria, California, 6 October 1984. Photo.
Figure 5 -- Whimbrel near Churchill, Manitoba. Photo.
Figure 6 -- Side views of Eskimo Curlew and Whimbrel. Front views of Eskimo Curlew, Little Curlew and Whimbrel. Drawing.
Figure 7 -- Eskimo Curlew and Whimbrel in flight from below. Drawing
Figure 8 -- Legs of Little Curlew (left) and Eskimo Curlew (right). Whimbrel like Little Curlew (Seebohm 1888). Drawing.
Figure 9 -- Clearing on the east bank of the Anderson River where Fort Anderson stood, 1861-1866. Photo.
Figure 10 -- Lac Rendez-vous, where "lowland" route from south met "upland" route. Trail east to Franklin Bay started at point on left of photo.
Figure 11 -- Franklin Bay (left)
Figure 12 -- Horton River ar junction of West River. Photo.
Figure 13 -- Eskimo Curlew habitat on grass, sedge and dryas "barrens" between Swan River and the Smoking Hills. Photo.
Figure 14 -- Single Eggs of, from left to right, Eskimo Curlew, Whimbrel and Long-billed Curlew. The label for the Eskimo Curlew egg indicates that it is one of two collected on 23 June 1863--apparently a transcribing error because MacFarlane gave no such data. Photo.
Figure 15 -- Eskimo Curlew feeding habitat hear Cartwright, Labrador. Photo.
Figure 16 -- Two 19th-century Massachusetts shorebird decoys from the collection of Ron Swanson. Red Knot in front of Eskimo Curlew. Photo.
Figure 17 -- Mud flats near Rio de la Plata, near La Plata, Argentina. Photo.
Figure 18 -- Pampas in southern Argentina. Photo.
Figure 19 -- Pasture on Galveston Island, Texas. Photo.
Figure 20 -- Frame from television special, "Last of the Curlews." Hanna-Barbera Productions.
Figure 21 -- Habitat near the collection site of Specimen #1800: "10 miles west of Rendezvous Lake...". Photo
Figure 22 -- Habitat near the colletion site of Specimen #1810: "found in a barren plain NE of this lake." Photo.
Figure 23 -- Carwright Harbour, Labrador, in foreground; Curlew Hill, highest hill, center, behind settlement. Photo.

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