Long-Billed Curlew

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The Curlew is one of Ireland’s most elusive and unique water birds. They visit Galway’s wetlands during the wintertime, although their numbers have declined significantly over the past couple of decades (due to ‘increased afforestation and agricultural improvement’, according to BirdWatch Ireland). A long, curved bill, long neck, and spindly legs make the curlew the largest bird in the wader family. It feeds on invertebrates such as crabs, molluscs and ragworms. In Irish folklore, the Curlew call is considered a bad omen. The sight and sound of a curlew at sea meant a storm was brewing and that fishermen should turn back.