The floek flushed. I caught the cinnamon color of the under-wings. The other
three, to my chagrin, did not. Charlie was at another angle taking pictures. The bird
settled in some 300-400 yards away. Again, away we crawled - dodging the natural hazards
but not the grass burrs. Nancy and Jean were on the side lines urging Charlie to get a
picture of four grown men on their bellies chasing a bird - particularly when one was the
current president of the A.O.U., one a CPA, and the third a Research Engineer (I'm a
Again we neared the flock and studied the leg color. Dr. Lowery eould see the
small Curlew was only two-thirds the bulk of the Whimbrel and eould .almost walk under the
belly of the L.B.Curlew. The small curlew had very dark, slate gray lets. The L.B..
Curlew and Whimbrel had decidedly bluish legs. Suddenly Dr. Lowery stood up saying,
"Jeter, there is no doubt in my mindo" The bird flushed and the rest caught the cinnamon
underwing color. They had already seen the very buffy flanks and the spottings -which
covered the little curlew.
It was now nearing 4:30 p.m. I had been stooping and crawling since 8:30 a.m.
with few rest periods and was quite tired. We left our bird, reluctantly, and took on
refreshments. Dr. Lowery had brought with him a skin of an Eskimo Curlew taken in 1889,
the 3ast Louisiana record, and of a Whimbrel. We studied them. We were even more certain
of our current sight record. Dr. Lowery is as reasonably certain, as a scientist can be
without collecting,that this is an Eskimo Curlew. Dr. Lowery added that he could not
conceive that this was the same bird seen in previous years - there must be several.
- Jerry B. Strickling
With all this excitement about Numenius arquatus this past week, I became inquisitive and paid a visit to the library. What I found may prove to be of interest to you,
too. This is taken from NATURAL HISTORY OF BIRDS by Leonard W. Wing, Copyright 1956:
"Hpw many birds have become extinct since the Industrial Revolution is a question that
cannot be answered with certainty. Sixty or more island f armshave become extinct at the
hands of man throughout the world; fewer have become extinct on continental land.
Nine forms of continental American birds have become extinct since the English
settlements in America, with probable date of extinction as follows:
Louisiana 1 Paraquet
Carolina Paraquet 1904
Audubon visited Labrador in 1832-and gives us this description of their numbers::
"The accounts given of these birds borders on the miraculous. They arrive in such
numbers: to remind me of the Passenger Pigeon". In spring they migrated northward through
the continental interior. The great flocks were decimated at all seasons of the year
(save possibly on some of the nesting grounds) from Labrador to Argentina and back through
the interior of North America. By 1890 only a few scattered flocks were reported anywhere. The last individuals reported are about as follows! Ohio, 1878; Michigan, 1883j
Indiana, 1890; Wisconsin, 1912; Argentina, 1925; and Nebraska* 1926. Uneonf irmed but
evidently reliable reports have placed Eskimo Curlews in Labrador as late as about 1930
and probably a few scattered elsewhere during the following year,"
An ardent admirer and reader, M.D.
More about curlews — mostly Eskimos.
The credit for this find of the century goes to TREVOR BEN FELTNER for his alertness in spotting and identifying it initially in 1959. Let's not forget this in our
VIC EMANUEL most be praised for his energies in helping to keep the project alive,
for pushing, for the 1959 AUK article by Dr. Geroge Williams, for the I960 search with
CARL AIKEN and STEVE WILLIAMS and finding the birds.
In 1961w mst give thettmost credit to HARVEY PATTEN. Alone and never having
seen the bird before, he found it at 31:15. a.m. on March 31, 1961. He contacted the land
owner, discussed protection of the bird, and made arrangements for a party to photograph
the bird thensxt day.
To all in the past our humble appreciation. To Harvey, thanks a million, and to