The Far Eastern curlew (Numenius madagascariensis) is a large shorebird most similar in appearance to the long-billed curlew, but slightly larger. It is mostly brown in color, differentiated from other curlews by its plain, unpatterned brown underwing. It is not only the largest curlew but probably the world's largest sandpiper, at 60–66 cm (24–26 in) in length and 110 cm (43 in) across the wings. The body is reportedly 565–1,150 g (1.246–2.535 lb), which may be equaled by the Eurasian curlew. The extremely long bill, at 12.8–20.1 cm (5.0–7.9 in) in length, rivals the bill size of the closely related long-billed curlew as the longest bill for a sandpiper.



The Far Eastern curlew spends its breeding season in northeastern Asia, including Siberia to Kamchatka, and Mongolia. Its breeding habitat is composed of marshy and swampy wetlands and lakeshores. Most individuals winter in coastal Australia, with a few heading to South Korea, Thailand, Philippines and New Zealand, where they stay at estuaries, beaches, and salt marshes. During its migration the Far Eastern curlew commonly passes the Yellow Sea.

It uses its long, decurved bill to probe for invertebrates in the mud. It may feed in solitary but it generally congregates in large flocks to migrate or roost. Its call is a sharp, clear whistle, cuuue-reee, often repeated.

As of 2006, there are an estimated 38,000 individuals in the world. Formerly classified as least concern by IUCN, it was found to have been rarer than previously believed and thus its status was updated to Vulnerable in the 2010 IUCN red list of threatened species.

In Australia its status under the EPBC Act is Critically Endangered.



Far Eastern Curlew
Date Location Count
2020-01-29 15:10Midway Atoll--water catchment area1
2020-02-23 14:05Pak Thale salt pans and mud flats5
2020-02-20 15:35Laem Phak Bia--garbage dump3
2020-02-20 16:30Laem Phak Bia--sandspit2
2020-02-11 07:50Khlong Tamru salt pans1
2020-02-09 16:20Kapar Power Station2
2020-02-02 06:10Sepahat mudflats4
2020-02-08 10:05嘉義鰲鼓濕地IBA--西堤(Aogu Wetland IBA--West Area)1
2020-02-16 13:56嘉義鰲鼓濕地IBA--全區(Aogu Wetland IBA)(New)2
2020-02-11 11:40嘉義布袋濕地IBA--全區(Budai Wetland IBA)2
2020-02-09 07:54彰化大城濕地IBA--魚寮溪北側(Dacheng Wetland IBA--Northern Area of Yuliao River)1
2020-02-09 07:44彰化--芳苑海濱(Changhua--Fangyuan Coast)3
2020-02-09 10:39彰化--王功永興海埔地(Changhua--Wanggong Yongxing Tidal Land)5
2020-01-28 10:40Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary, Lapu-Lapu City
2020-02-19 10:26Panabo Coastal Road1
2020-02-07 06:30Libuganon river mouth, Carmen2
2020-02-17 09:16Ocean Reef Boat Harbour1
2020-02-23 08:00Woodman Point Regional Park--headland groyne only1
2020-02-24 09:20Woodman Point Regional Park--Headland only1
2020-02-22 08:28Woodman Point Regional Park1
2020-02-16 07:51Len Howard Conservation Park (Erskine)1
2020-02-11 07:41Samphire Cove Reserve1
2020-02-24 09:28Creery Wetlands Nature Reserve1
2020-02-10 10:59Point Douro1
2020-02-10 09:30Wader Beach (Roebuck Bay)10
2020-02-06 15:30Roebuck Plains Station (BBO and Jabiru Paddocks)15
2020-02-05 07:42East Point1
2020-02-01 16:33Rockshelf (west end of Aralia St, Nightcliff)1
2020-02-01 15:42Mangroves near Orchard Rd (Coconut Grove)2
2020-02-12 10:02Casuarina Coastal Reserve--Dariba Rd3
2020-02-17 15:16Lee Point1
2020-02-02 12:45Buffalo Creek Shore4
2020-02-12 13:37Buffalo Creek1
2020-02-01 07:30Karumba1
2020-02-02 08:30Coorong National Park--Goolwa Channel at -35.53529, 138.845293
2020-02-13 06:10Endeavour River estuary sandbank (Cooktown)6
2020-02-19 14:26Port Douglas1
2020-02-15 13:55Barron River Mouth10
2020-02-25 15:07Cairns Esplanade--Northern End2
2020-02-23 14:00Cairns Esplanade1
2020-02-22 16:12Cairns Esplanade--Southern End1
2020-02-16 10:24Coquette Point and beach front2
2020-02-21 08:38Lucinda18
2020-02-24 12:45Lucinda spit30
2020-02-15 06:30Bushland Beach7
2020-02-05 12:49Carty Road, Cungulla5
2020-02-07 09:56Cungulla Beach2
2020-02-23 17:15Bowen Rest Area25
2020-02-17 13:15Bowen Beach2
2020-02-19 16:25St Helens Beach2
2020-02-08 15:35Bucasia Beach9
2020-02-25 06:32Sandfly Creek, Mackay5
2020-01-31 16:00Beach Access 14W (Ocean Grove)1
2020-02-17Queenscliff Mudflats14
2020-02-16 08:20Edwards Point Wildlife Reserve1
2020-02-19 15:11Hastings Jetty2
2020-02-08 17:06Hanns Inlet (restricted access)3
2020-02-19 14:04Stony Point1
2020-01-30 09:03Chilcott Rocks, French Island6
2020-02-03 08:00Phillip Island1
2020-02-20 11:34Rhyll Inlet19
2020-02-16 13:45Rhyll1
2020-02-08 09:16Stockyard Point1
2020-02-13 10:16Mahers Landing55
2020-02-05 11:39Byfield National Park--Sandy Point2
2020-02-11 07:43Corner Inlet Marine and Coastal Park--Toora Beach2
2020-02-22 06:41Elliot Heads17
2020-02-25 08:20The Gables, Point Vernon3
2020-02-22 07:00Maaroom147
2020-02-15 10:30Boonooroo163
2020-02-22 12:18Poona Wader Roost2
2020-02-14 09:37Orielton Lagoon--Greenshank Bay12
2020-02-14 11:48Orielton Lagoon11
2020-02-23 07:17Inskip Point82
2020-02-23 10:02Cooloola Cove shorebird roost90
2020-02-19 11:24Bullock Point Rd
2020-02-05 10:15Cullendulla Nature Reserve1
2020-02-10 17:55Moruya Heads35
2020-02-23 11:11Noosa Spit Recreation Reserve2
2020-02-02 16:03Dalmeny2
2020-02-07 14:15Wagonga Inlet, Narooma2
2020-01-28 06:40Merimbula Boardwalk2
2020-02-10 12:48Wallaga Lake entrance5
2020-02-16 13:30Burrill Lake1
2020-02-06 08:28Mallacoota3
2020-02-22 14:46Captain Stevensons Point2
2020-02-04 13:56Bastion Point (Mallacoota)1
2020-02-24 15:30Koona Bay, Albion Park Rail1
2020-02-06 10:50Horsley Inlet, Koona Bay, Lake Illawarra2
2020-01-28 10:56Toorbul5
2020-02-14 07:55Fred Finch Park, Berkeley1
2020-02-16 07:54Hooka Point Park (Berkeley)2
2020-02-09 15:11Osprey House Environmental Centre3
2020-02-16 16:19Gregory Road, Mango Hill25
2020-02-18 16:45Tinchi Tamba Wetlands Reserve32
2020-02-19 17:18Toorbul High Tide Roost131
2020-02-16 09:30Bribie Island National Park--Whitepatch1
2020-02-08 10:00Nathan Road Wetlands Reserve3
2020-02-06 12:05Boonerah Point Reserve1
2020-02-23 14:51Godwin Beach
2020-02-25 17:00Whyjuck Bay1
2020-02-22 18:22Shoalhaven Heads Inlet1
2020-02-10 17:46Brighton Park/Decker Park (Brighton)1
2020-02-24 09:54Kakadu Beach (Bribie Island)
2020-02-25 13:05Kakadu Beach North Hide only2
2020-02-23 05:44Flinders Pde, Brighton2
2020-02-10 04:47Endeavour Esplanade, Newport2
2020-02-05 16:40Pelican View Reserve and Picnic Island4
2020-02-25 16:30Lake Illawarra estuary (Windang)3
2020-02-19 15:18Sandgate3
2020-02-16 08:55Boondall Wetlands Reserve8
2020-02-25 18:32Oatley Park1
2020-02-14 07:24Shorncliffe1
2020-02-20 16:40Freeman Avenue Reserve (Oatley)2
2020-02-23 06:42Lake Wollumboola1
2020-02-23 10:30Tabbil-ban dhagun Boardwalk4
2020-02-22 07:25Lake Wollumboola east1
2020-02-14 08:00Tom Uglys Bridge1
2020-02-14 07:46Dover Park East1
2020-02-25 17:12Woolooware Bay Shared Pathway and Viewing Platform3
2020-02-03 13:00Deeban Spit, Port Hacking6
2020-02-16 14:00Port of Brisbane Island including visitor centre1
2020-02-11 06:15Lytton Wader Roost and Wynnum Mangrove Boardwalk4
2020-02-23 08:40Metromix Wetland (Kurnell)1
2020-02-17 10:29Wynnum Mangrove Boardwalk4
2020-02-20 08:44Port of Brisbane Shorebird Roost3
2020-02-16 09:21Wynnum Foreshore at Oyster Point8
2020-01-29 15:17Quibray Bay4
2020-02-16 14:11Manly Wader Roost (restricted access)16
2020-02-11 15:48Lota Foreshore8
2020-02-22 13:24Queens Esplanade, Thorneside1
2020-02-08 15:35Mistral Point, Maroubra3
2020-02-18 07:45King Island (Moreton Bay)2
2020-02-08 14:15Magic Point, Maroubra3
2020-02-03 09:20Wellington Point5
2020-02-22 06:44Wellington Point--Geoff Skinner Reserve382
2020-02-03 09:30Picnic Point Reserve, The Entrance1
2020-02-02 10:00GJ Walter Park (Cleveland)2
2020-02-17 08:23Oyster Point5
2020-02-22 06:18Ash Island1
2020-02-18 16:30Pelican Point, Norah Head4
2020-01-27Coon Island Nature Reserve1
2020-01-31 08:50Point Halloran--NE corner mudflats3
2020-02-16 11:00Yeo Park, Victoria Pt2
2020-02-18 09:30Mirapool Sandspit (Moreton Island)2
2020-02-22 12:00Stockton Sandspit60
2020-02-23 15:22Paradise Point Boardwalk1
2020-02-03 12:35Harley Park (Labrador)5
2020-02-20 07:45Island just south of Wavebreak Island.58
2020-02-07 17:21Soldiers Pt, Port Stephens1
2020-02-10 15:30Winda Woppa Reserve--The Anchorage Picnic Area1
2020-02-15 12:40Cudgera Creek Bridge (Hastings Point)3
2020-02-16 07:54Brunswick Heads Nature Reserve4
2020-02-07 17:05Airforce Beach at Salty Lagoon, Evans Head2
2020-02-23 17:15Urunga Boardwalk2
2020-01-30 11:00Mud Bishops Point Reserve3
2020-02-11 15:30Bellwood Park (Nambucca Heads)1
2020-02-22 12:27Farquhar Inlet, Old Bar4
2020-02-16 16:36Nambucca River Entrance4
2020-02-03 13:40North Creek, Ballina8
2020-02-11 14:55Manning Estuary, Harrington10
2020-02-18 13:30Macleay River Entrance1
2020-02-22 16:15Quarry Street Track, South West Rocks Creek3
2020-02-04 09:45Suez Rd, Rainbow Reach1
2020-02-11 17:16North Haven Bridge1
2020-02-21 14:39Riverview Reserve, North Haven5
2020-02-23 17:20Jerseyville1
2020-02-01 17:20Gogleys Lagoon9
2020-02-09 16:25Settlement Point Reserve17
2020-02-15 08:15Arakoon National Park1
2020-02-08 10:25South Head--Waionui Lagoon (General)1
2020-02-12 11:56Motueka Sandspit1
2020-02-09 10:30Manukau Harbour--Kidd's Shellbanks (restricted access)1
2020-02-23 07:30Miranda Shorebird Centre (Hides, ponds, and general area)1
2020-02-17 13:00Miranda--Stilt Pools3
2020-02-23 18:20Miranda--main hide/Limeworks3
2020-01-27 10:00Hauraki Rail Trail--East Piako flood plains1