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Bristle-thighed Curlews

   The Bristle-thighed Curlew is a shorebird which normally winters in the south Pacific islands and breeds in Alaska.  It is rarely seen in the Pacific Northwest.  In May of 1998, an unusual weather pattern in the north Pacific apparently pushed a number of these birds over to the West Coast of North America.  There was quite a bit of excitement about this in the birding community.  Two or three of these curlews ended up spending a few weeks at the south jetty of the Columbia River.  (SJCR)    I went up and saw it and took a few photos.  You can click on the thumbnails to see a larger image.  I scanned them pretty big, so if your monitor is set to 480x640, now would be the time to change to 600x800.  These photos are not great, but are pretty good under the circumstances.  It was raining and breezy and these are just cropped out of the center of 35mm negatives.

   The first three are a sequence where he stretched while pointing his tail at us.  He lowered and fanned his tail showing the cinnamon color of his rump.  The fourth photo is a flyby.

Bristle-thighed Curlew at South Jetty, Columbia River, Oregon, May, 1998 Bristle-thighed Curlew at South Jetty, Columbia River, Oregon, May, 1998 Bristle-thighed Curlew at South Jetty, Columbia River, Oregon, May, 1998 Bristle-thighed Curlew fly-by at South Jetty, Columbia River, Oregon, May, 1998

   If you are interested in learning more, Mike Patterson has a very thorough exhibit on these birds at his website.

 


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