how to get rid of curlew birds

Numerous natural predators of birds exist, such as owls, cats, and larger prey species. You can prevent nuisance birds from nesting or landing close to these objects by arranging them to resemble these predators in the areas they frequent. These items can be constructed from metal, wood, or any other substance that can survive being outside. Ensure that these items are repositioned every few days to prevent the birds from growing accustomed to them and ignoring them.

Although most birds aren’t thought of as parasites, they can nonetheless be a real annoyance. While birds can be beneficial in certain situations—for example, by consuming the seeds of weeds that can take over your garden and feeding on predator insects—they can also be pests in your garden, destroying your home and other structures, and contaminating it with bird droppings that pose a serious health risk to you and your family. There are only two options available to homeowners when it comes to bird control: professional wildlife exclusion to safely and humanely remove or relocate nuisance birds, and natural repellents that keep birds away from specific areas around your home. This is because it is illegal to kill most species of birds and remove or destroy the nests of other species. Here are five home remedies to keep birds away:

Natural bird repellents are round garden balls, which are big, colorful balls that you can hang from trees, fence posts, and stakes or scatter throughout your garden. Birds will try to avoid these spherical orbs because they will mistake them for eyes. They can also make wonderful yard or garden decorations.

Bird spikes are long, needle-like rods used for bird control. These spikes, which can be attached to window sills and overhangs with wire or made of tin or plastic cans, can be buried in the ground. They can also be made by hammering nails into wood. These spikes make birds uncomfortable, so they won’t land on them and stay away from trouble spots near your house.

You can make a variety of bird repellent sprays at home, but the most well-liked recipe calls for combining vinegar, water, and chili peppers. Crush dried red or green chili peppers into a vinegar and water mixture to create this spray. After that, this mixture can be allowed to naturally infuse in the sunlight or heated in a crock pot for a few hours. When you’re done, pour the repellent into a plant mister and mist any areas where birds are bothering you.

A species in decline

There are eight species of curlew in the world, two of which are probably already extinct. The curlew that grows in the UK is one of them. The slender-billed curlew and eskimo curlew have not been officially sighted in over 15 years or for more than 50 years. This threat also affects our species, the Eurasian curlew, and we must take all necessary steps to stop its continued decline and potential extinction in the UK.

Auchnerran curlew close-upThe curlew used to be a common species in Britain, breeding in marshes, meadows and arable fields as well as on moorland. However, the curlew population has declined rapidly in recent decades. There are now only half the number of breeding curlew in the UK compared to 25 years ago. The curlew was added to the UK red list in in December 2015, and it is argued to be the most pressing bird conservation priority in the UK. The famously evocative and previously familiar call of the curlew is becoming increasingly rare.

Because we have significant breeding and overwintering populations, the UK has a significant influence on the future of curlew. It is estimated that a fifth of the world’s curlew winters in our coastal areas, and that about a quarter of all pairs breed in the UK during the spring and summer. Since so many curlews are found within UK borders, it is our duty to take all necessary precautions to ensure their protection. The future of curlew in the UK will have far-reaching effects on the world’s population.

Curlew nest and eggsLots of research has been done looking at the reasons for curlew population declines, and found that overall the problem is low breeding success, not poor adult survival. This knowledge is important because we now know research and conservation efforts should be focused on the breeding grounds.

A thorough analysis of scientific research conducted throughout Europe revealed that the success of breeding was so low that over 80% of nests built between 1996 and 2006 were unable to produce a single offspring. Just half of the hatched chicks made it to the stage of fledging, when they can begin to fly.

In order to maintain population stability, each breeding pair would need to yield, on average, 0 48-0. 62 fledged chicks per year. Although it may seem like a low number, less than one chick per year per pair is actually the estimated breeding success observed throughout Europe. 348 chicks annually is insufficient to sustain the population, which causes declines. This is due to a variety of factors, such as afforestation, high rates of nest and chick predation, loss, degradation, and fragmentation of breeding habitat, and agricultural nest destruction.

It is crucial to consider these aspects in relation to the UK in order to determine the best methods for assisting with curlew breeding and aiding in the recovery process. Applying scientific knowledge can help us achieve the dual goals of curlew conservation and profitable farming, which is the most sustainable way to restore our curlew population.

Wet areas for feeding and dry areas for nesting, along with a mixed but medium-length vegetation structure and minimal disturbance, are characteristics of ideal curlew breeding sites (see figure 1) For instance, in-bye land, lowland wet grassland, or open-air rough grazing near the edge of a moorland Sheep or cattle were allowed to graze on these meadows and pastures in the past, but they were kept out of them in the spring and summer for cutting purposes. In certain cases, manure or lime was applied sparingly. This can produce the ideal habitat for curlew.

These features are becoming less common in the UK as pastures are improved through fertilizer application, drainage, and grass reseeding. This results in a drier, more uniform grassland with fewer plant species, which lowers the quantity and variety of food species for curlew, including insects and earthworms. In the UK, breeding curlew has drastically decreased in lowland wet grasslands.

Moreover, a large number of breeding curlew have vanished from the moorland fringe, partly as a result of increased sheep grazing during the 1960s and 1990s. In recent decades, there have been notable declines in the number of breeding curlews and their success in breeding due to the increased management of this transition zone between moorland and farmland.

Though historically found throughout the United Kingdom, curlew are now more commonly associated with the uplands due to habitat loss in the lowlands and inbye land (see map). Only 250–300 pairs of curlews are believed to be breeding in the UK today, all of them are located south of Birmingham. But upland areas are also seeing population declines, so national efforts to protect our curlew are needed.

Curlew chick in long grassAs well as habitat pressures, it is well documented that predation is a serious threat to curlew breeding success.

The eggs and young of curlews, which nest on the ground, can be extremely vulnerable. Smaller local populations as a result of habitat loss-related population declines have made them less resilient to external stresses, and this vulnerability is becoming a bigger issue. At the same time that fox and crow populations have shown long-term increases, predation pressure may have increased in recent decades.

Looking at the periods pre-1980%20 compared to 201996-2006, one study found that predation increased from 2016 to 65% of curlyw nests predated per year throughout Europe. A nesting success study conducted in Northern Ireland discovered that up to 2097% of nest failures and 2074 % of chick mortality were caused by predation, primarily from foxes and predatory birds.

In order to investigate the effects of this pressure from predation, a GWCT study examined how predator control measures affected moorland for breeding waders, such as curlew. Curlew bred three times more successfully on a moorland when predator control was maintained than when it was removed. One reason curlew breed better on moorland managed for red grouse is probably because predators are effectively controlled there. Curlew breeding densities on grouse moors are consistently higher than on non-grouse moors, according to comparative studies. Considering the population decreases observed in other areas, it’s possible that grouse moor management acts as a haven for curlew breeding.

When curlews breed on farms, farm machinery or livestock may unintentionally destroy their nests. Although lowland breeding sites are becoming less common in some heavily farmed areas of the UK, curlew regularly use these types of sites in other nations, and nest destruction can occur due to agricultural activities. Many curlew still nest in lowland areas in Scotland, and modifying farming methods during the breeding season may help meet their requirements and support healthy local populations.

Since curlew historically bred in the UK’s lowlands and still do so in many other European countries, it might be possible to support a comeback for the lowland curlew population here. It’s interesting to note that some of the few, albeit tiny, places where populations are growing are in the lowlands. Lowland wet grasslands, farmlands, and meadows may be able to retain and support breeding curlews if farmers and land managers take conservation measures there.

  • Typically, nests are built on level ground, away from trees and shrubs that could hide predators, and drier than the surrounding foraging areas.
  • Nests are made by a bird pressing down and rotating around on the vegetation to form a shallow cup in the grass sward.
  • The grass around a sitting bird is typically 20–30 cm high, so it is hidden but still able to raise its head to observe its surroundings.
  • Curlew are devoted to their partners and visit the same location every year.
  • When nesting, curlew are territorial and very secretive.
  • In order to hide its location, they land some distance away from the nest and approach it through long grass.
  • Incubating the eggs are both male and female birds, working in shifts of two to three hours.
  • Eggs are usually laid by the first week of May.
  • Up to four eggs per clutch are typically seen.
  • Each adult shares incubation, which lasts for roughly four weeks.
  • The pair may try to nest again in the same year if the eggs are lost.
  • The pair will not replace the clutch if the chicks are lost.
  • Within hours of hatching, the mobile chicks leave the nest with the adult bird to feed.
  • Because they consume a variety of invertebrates, chicks require a mixed vegetation structure for food, cover from predators, and shelter.
  • After hatching, chicks typically fledge (learn to fly) in 32–38 days.
  • While replacement clutches might not fledge until August, early clutches usually do so by mid-July.


Why do curlews scream at night?

The bush stone-curlew is probably heard more than it is seen. Its call sounds like a wail or a scream in the night. When scared, it screeches – a sound similar to the screech of a possum. A field report from Brookton, Western Australia, noted that their call was heard in response to the cry of possums shot by hunters.

What is the purpose of curlews?

As well as distributing chemical nutrients, Curlews also disperse seeds, invertebrates and beneficial microbes which stick to their feathers, feet and bills.

Are curlew birds aggressive?

Risk Category: This species of bird is considered Low Risk; Innocuous. The bush stone-curlew is highly unlikely to cause any serious injury. Care still must be taken to avoid being pecked or scratched, as they are still capable of causing minor injury even if unintentional.

How can we protect the curlew?

This can include: maintaining wet pastures in the lowlands, keeping pastures unimproved, performing heather management to give patches of suitable length on moorland. Curlew return to the same area to nest in year on year, so these measures can be beneficial for many years.