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Long-billed Curlew

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Long-billed Curlews primarily breed in the Grassland Natural Region of southern Alberta, although some breeding records extend into the Parkland Natural Region.

Confirmed breeding records extend as far north as near Wainwright and west to the foothills. Actual breeding sites are habitat dependent: curlews prefer to breed in native prairie grasslands and sandhills, although they will occasionally use agricultural land. The Alberta Breeding Bird Atlas reports highest densities of Long-billed Curlews in the grasslands south of the Red Deer River between Gem and Empress. Another important site is Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Suffield where Long-billed Curlews were detected on 12.5% of 833 point counts in grasslands and sandhills. During migration, and occasionally during the summer, curlews may be observed beyond their breeding limits.

For example, curlews have been recorded at Waterton Lakes National Park, east and north of Edmonton at Beaverhill Lake and Belvedere, west of Calgary at Glenbow Lake, as well as around the Banff region.

Reprinted from Alberta Wildlife Status Report No. 16 (1998), with permission from Alberta Sustainable Resource Development.

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