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Birding Málaga


Common name Eurasian curlew
Scientific name Numenius arquata
Type Waterbirds
Status Migrator

Large-sized wader (about 57 cm or 22.5 in), very long bluish or greyish legs and long, curved bill. Yellowish brown plumage, with ocher tones on the breast and flanks. Paler underparts with a dark streaking. Similar females but larger and with a longer bill. The rump and the tail present a fine barring.


Wetlands and Marine environment

Where it lives

Species with a preference for coasts and sandy beaches. Present in marshes and floodplains. It breeds in peat bog areas of northern Europe.

How it lives

Bird present in the province only during the migratory passage. This wader breeds in May. 4 eggs laid. Nest on the ground. It feeds on invertebrates and molluscs buried deep in the silt, to which the curlew can access thanks to the length of its bill. It also consumes amphibians and eggs of other birds.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Uncommon species in the province. Isolated individuals or small groups can be watched on the coast (most observations are concentrated in Punta de Calaburras, Mijas) and in some inland wetlands such as the Fuente de Piedra lagoon.

Curious facts

The name "Numenius" is the word which the ancient Greeks knew a similar bird and the Latin surname "arquatus" means "curved", making clear reference to its bill. The Eurasian Curlew is becoming increasingly threatened in the UK and Ireland, where its population has declined between 50% and 80% in the recent years. These countries host more than a quarter of the total population of this wader.

Similar birds
Wintering Summer Resident Migration