Belarus post issued a stamp of “Eurasian Curlew” in the series “A bird of the year”. The Eurasian Curlew, Numenius arquata, is a wader in the large family Scolopacidae. It is the one of the most widespread of the curlews, breeding across temperate Europe and Asia. In Europe, this species is often referred to just as “the Curlew”, and in Scotland a colloquial name is “whaup”.
The largest wader in its range, at 50–57 cm length, and a 1 m wingspan. It is mainly greyish brown, with a white back, and a very long curved bill. Males and females look identical, but the bill is longest in the adult female. It is generally not possible to recognize the sex of a single Eurasian Curlew, or even several ones as there is much variation; telling male and female of a mated pair apart is usually possible however.
The familiar call, from which this bird gets it name, is a loud curloo-oo.
The only similar species over most of the Curlew’s range is the Whimbrel (N. phaeopus). This is smaller, and has a shorter bill with a kink rather than a smooth curve. Flying birds may resemble a Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica) in winter plumage, but that species is smaller, has a slightly upturned bill, and its feet are barely longer than the tail tip; in the Eurasian Curlew the feet are longer, forming a conspicuous “point”.
Title: Eurasian Curlew – Belarus
Date of Issue: 14 March 2011
Denominations: 1500 BYR