Curlew, a shorebird related to the sandpiper. It is named for its call, a harsh cur-leeuu. There are eight species of curlews, ranging in length from 12 to 25 inches (30 to 63 cm), including a 3- to 8- inch (7.5- to 20-cm) bill.

The curlew has long, thin legs; a long neck; and a long bill that curves downward. The bill is used to probe in the mud and sand for food, which consists mainly of worms, crustaceans, and mollusks. Most curlews breed in the Arctic and then migrate to coastal areas farther south. The female typically lays four greenish-brown eggs in a shallow nest on the ground.

The curlewThe curlew has long legs, a long neck, and a long bill that curves downward.

The long-billed curlew, or sickle bill, is buff-brown with cinnamon patches under the wings. It breeds in Canada and the western United States and winters in southern North America.

The Eskimo curlew is black above and buff below. Due to overhunting, it is almost extinct. Until the end of the 19th century, it was commonly seen on the East Coast and Great Plains of the United States during migration.

The whimbrel is a grayish-brown curlew with dark stripes on the head. There are four subspecies; the American subspecies, the Hudsonian curlew, breeds in Canada and Alaska and winters in South America and southern North America.

Curlews belong to die family Scolopacidae. The long-billed curlew is Numenius americanus; Eskimo curlew, N. borealis; whimbrel, N. phaeopus; Hudsonian curlew, N. p. hudsonicus .