Here's a bird with a beak that would put Cyrano de Bergerac to shame. Known for its distinctive, slender bill (typically about eight inches long), the Curlew is pale brown and spotted with black and dark-brown marks. It has a short, rounded tail and thin, bare legs.
American White Curlew
Numenius americanus: Long-billed Curlew
Numenius borealis: Eskimo Curlew
And where did the name "Curlew" come from? The easily-recognized, far-reaching call: "cur-lee, curlee." Curlews nest on the open prairies in grass-lined depressions. Unlike most animals, they feel most safe out in the open away from cover. They are also quite social and travel in smaller flocks. There's a good chance you will see curlews if you stop at a riverside watering hole in eastern Montana.