Thursday, February 23, 2006

North America's "Other" Lost Species: The Eskimo Curlew

If you are interested in the story of the "rediscovery" of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, you might also be interested in another species that might -- or might not -- be extinct: the Eskimo Curlew.

Ted Eubanks has recently posted a number of very interesting articles on TexBirds about the Eskimo Curlew, including tips on how and where to search for any birds that may still exist as they migrate through Texas. I don't think Ted's posts are on a web site anywhere, so you'll just have to go check them out on TexBirds.

While doing a bit of research on this issue, I noticed a very interesting related post by Mike McDowell about some strange things he noticed in the last "legitimate" photos of this species: Eskimo Curlew??? I think Mike is right, the color photo just looks *funny.* Could this be an American version of the Hastings Rarities Affair? This is the kind of thing that makes blogging cool.

And just for kicks, since we love rumor-mongering, has anyone ever heard the rumor that there is a small population of breeding Eskimo Curlews somewhere in Canada, but that the Canadian authorities are withholding information on this population from the public? I have heard this rumor from two different birders over the past few years, and the origin of the rumor always seems to point to someone in California...


Anonymous said...

That is extremely interesting. The photos look like photos of real birds, yet the composition of the one photo seem to be faked. Very curious indeed.

Clare said...

Of course there are Eskimo Curlers in Canada I've seen them, although they prefer Inuit Curlers. I can't see the government trying to hide... oh wait, that's Curlew.