Eskimo Curlew

Eskimo Curlew

Dimensions: 8 in. x 8 in.
 
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Eskimo Curlew by Linda Feltner
Species Info
Status: 
Critically Endangered
Family: 
SCOLOPACIDAE
Order: 
CHARADRIIFORMES
Genus: 
Numenius
Species: 
borealis
Population trend: 
unknown
Authority: 
(Forster, 1772)
Common names (Spa): 
Zarapito Boreal, Chorlo Polar, Chorlito Esquimal, Zarapito Esquimal, Zarapito Polar
Medium: 
Transparent Watercolor
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.