Eskimo Curlew

Eskimo Curlew by AFC

Numenius borealis by Linda Feltner
(8 in. x 8 in. | Transparent Watercolor | ID#3994)

Family: SCOLOPACIDAE | Conservation Status: Critically Endangered | Population Trend: unknown

Artist Statement

Immediately drawn to this species, I was eager to paint the Eskimo Curlew (Numenius borealis) because of the historical and personal significance to my family. Thought to be extinct for many prior decades, my husband, Ben Feltner, in the company of D.A. Deaver, found a living bird on Galveston Island, TX on March 22, 1959, and recognized it. Alerted to the news, many others were able to experience this exciting discovery. In late March 1962, two birds were observed on the island by many birders and were photographed. The last bird flew north a few weeks later, and was the last confirmed record for the contiguous United States. My own Eskimo Curlew journey took me to the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History to view their inestimable specimens, along with the kindness of a museum director who photographed and measured the specimens in various U.S. collections for my accuracy. Once one of the most numerous shorebirds in North America, it is now thought to be extinct.
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