long-billed Curlew

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“Numenius longirostris. Long-billed Curlew. Sickle-bill. Plumage very similar to that of the Godwit, Limosa faeda: prevailing tone rufous, of varying intensity in different specimens, usually deepest on the lining of the wings, which are little varied with other color. Primaries varied with rufous. Top of head variegated with blackish and rufous or whitish, without distinct pale median and lateral lines. Upper parts brownish-black, speckled with tawny or cinnamon-brown, each feather having several indentations or broken bars of this color; rufous prevailing on wing-coverts. Tail-feathers and secondaries cinnamon-brown, with pretty regular dark bars throughout. Under parts rufous or cinnamon of varying intensity, usually deepening to chestnut under the wings, fading to whitish on throat; the jugulum and fore-breast with dusky streaks which tend on the sides of breast and body to arrowheads or more or less complete bars; lining of wings, axillars, and crissum, mostly unmarked, though some spots may appear. No white on rump, tail, or wings. Bill black, much of under mandible pale-flesh-color or yellowish; legs dark. Little variation in plumage with sex, age, and season. Chicks hatch in whitish down, thickly blotched above with brownish-black; the bill straight, an inch long.” Elliot Coues, 1884


Birds: C


Elliot Coues Key to North American Birds (Boston, MA: Estes and Lauriat, 1884)


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