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Curlew Profiles

Meet the flock:

Click on the tabs below to read a little bit about each of our birds

Currently Tracking

  • carol
    billthorval
    canyonladyETprof
    KaseyzarapitaSyringa

  • Frank and Bethine

    Alpha Flag Codes:
    CC AA
    Capture dates: 4-30-14 and 5-2-14
    Sex: a mated pair
    Location: The Long-billed Curlew Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) between Middleton and Emmett Idaho.
    Namesake: This pair is named after Frank and Bethine Church. The Church’s are a famous couple in Idaho, known for their work in conservation of Idaho’s wild places. In fact, one of the largest wilderness areas in the lower 48 shares their name: The Frank Church river of no return wilderness!

    Bethine patiently waiting while her transmitter is attached.

    Bethine patiently waiting while her transmitter is attached. Photo by Bryce Robinson

    Frank receives his transmitter. Photo by Liz Urban

    Frank receives his transmitter. Photo by Liz Urban

     

  • A.J. and Bill Longington

    Alpha Flag Codes:
    AJ   CL
    Capture dates: A.J.  5-27-14, Bill  5-31-15
    Sex: Mated Pair. A.J. is the female, Bill is the male.
    Location: National Elk Refuge in Jackson, WY

    Namesake:
    A.J. is named after AJ DeRosa, a local businessman and boat guide in Wyoming. He is an outdoor adventurer and supporter of conservation in the area. For the past 4 years he has donated boats and guides for the Nature Mapping Jackson Hole project. “The Snake River Float Project is designed to gain a better idea of what species of mammals, birds, and amphibians use the section of river between Wilson Bridge and South Park. In this section, the river flows mostly through private land where wildlife professionals do not conduct a systematic census. In two seasons, the Snake River Float project provided a more complete picture of the species that use the river corridor between Wilson Bridge and South Park. We have also recorded the locations of nests of osprey, bald eagle, and great blue heron, along with ducks and shorebird nesting areas. In its first two years the project recorded nearly 3600 individual birds. Mammals observed range from least chipmunk to moose.”

    Susan Patla from the National Elk Refuge already had plans to name this bird “A.J.” before we even arrived to trap. Coincidentally, as we were looking through possible letter combinations to give her, we realized that we had an alpha flag with those letters!

    AJ

    Jay holds A.J. after attaching her transmitter at the beautiful National Elk Refuge

    Bill was the winning name selected in a student naming contest. Names in this contest were submitted by all the classes that are involved in our Curlews in the Classroom program. Students at Lake Hazel and Pepper Ridge Elementary schools both suggested the names “Bill” and “Bill Longington”, respectively. Great minds think alike!

    We returned to the Elk Refuge in 2015 and were happy to see A.J. was paired up and had an active nest. Because of her transmitter it was easy for us to find her nest and then catch her mate, Bill.

    Bill gets ready for takeoff as he is set free by Emmie Gocke, 16 , of Jackson, WY

  • Goldie

    Alpha Flag Code:
    AN
    Capture date: 5-24-14
    Sex: Female
    Location: The Page Family’s Big Creek Ranch, near the town of May, ID. Pahsimeroi Valley.

    Namesake: Since the Page family funded this transmitter (Thank You Pages!) we asked them to choose her name. They decided to name her Goldie after the Goldburg parcel of the ranch where she lives.

    Goldie is the mate of Borah, one of the curlews tagged in 2013. When we returned to Big Creek in 2014 to attach another transmitter we were hoping to capture a female, but didn’t plan to catch Borah’s mate. We lucked out in that we found not only had Borah returned to Big Creek, but his nest was easily accessible! We were able to catch Goldie on their nest, and are excited to see if her migration and wintering behavior will be similar to Borah’s.

    Molly Page releasing Goldie

    Molly Page releasing Goldie

     

  • Mr. and Mrs. Dave

    Alpha Flag Code:
    CJ
    Capture dates– Dave: 5-12-14, Carol: May 2016
    Sex: Mated Pair
    Location: Dave spent 2014 and 2015 on MPG Ranch near Florence, MT. In 2016 Dave relocated to Dillon, MT and met Mr. Carol!

    Namesakes: While spending a few frustrating days searching for nests at MPG Ranch, Jay and Heidi became familiar with a certain curlew who always seemed to spend time near a gravel parking area on the ranch. For a while we simply called it “parking lot” but later decided to give it a name. Judging by bill size we assumed it was a male, and so we called it “Parking Lot Dave”. A few days later we found a nest nearby and were able to trap the female. She had the shortest bill we had seen on any of the females on the ranch. We released her and continued to search for more nests in the area. Later that day, we were surprised when “Dave” showed up in his regular spot, but this time wearing a transmitter! Dave was a girl! We thought about changing her name, but somehow “Dave” stuck.

    Jay and Dave have a moment while testing the fit of her transmitter. By refusing to walk in the tent, she's telling us it doesn't fit right. Photo by William Blake

    Jay and Dave have a moment while testing the fit of her transmitter. By refusing to walk in the tent, she’s telling us it doesn’t fit right. Photo by William Blake

    Dave nested on MPG Ranch near Florence, MT during the 2014 and 2015 nesting seasons. We tried trapping her mate both years but her nest failed in 2014 and hatched in 2015 before we could trap him (we can only trap curlews when they are sitting tight on a nest).

    In 2016 Dave did something we’ve never seen any other curlew do. She migrated north to MPG Ranch as usual, spent only a few days, and then turned around and flew south! We think she may have returned and not found her mate there. So, she headed for a ranch near Dillon, MT, which she had visited during fall migration in 2015. Apparently while using it as a stopover site she realized that it could be a good location to breed!

    In May Jay traveled to the ranch and found Dave nesting with a new male. We were able to trap him and give him a transmitter. While scouting out the nest location, the ranching family suggested to Jay that since Dave had a boy’s name, maybe we should give her mate a girls name. Off the top of her head, she suggested “why don’t we name him Carol or something?”. Jay laughed….our long-time volunteers and friends, the Wikes, are named Dave and Carol! After that, there was no doubt that we had to name him Carol. So, there we have it: a girl named Dave and a boy named Carol :)

  • Henrietta

    Alpha Flag Code:
    AH
    Capture date: 5-28-14
    Sex: Female
    Location: The Nature Conservancy’s Flat Ranch Preserve near Island Park, ID

    Namesake: After a public vote on the TNC website, she was named Henrietta after Henry’s Lake, which is near her home on the Flat Ranch. Read more about Flat Ranch and the curlews that live there on TNC’s website!

    We placed a transmitter on her mate, Henry, in 2015, and her mate King Henry II in 2016.

    AH

  • Thor and Valkyrie

    Alpha Flag Codes:
    thorvalk
    Capture dates: 5-4-15 and 5-5-15
    Sex: a mated pair
    Location: The Long-billed Curlew Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) between Middleton and Emmett Idaho.
    Namesake: Thor and Valkyrie were named by Middleton High School Students after the biology classes held a naming contest. The names Thor and Valkyrie were chosen since the Middleton High School mascot is the Viking. In Norse mythology, Thor is the god of thunder and Valkyrie is an angel.

    Read about Thor and Valkyrie in this blog post: The curlew of thunder, spit swabs, and bendy beaks

    Thor and Valkyrie were proud parents in 2015. Here's a shot of their newly hatched chick and pipping eggs! Photo by Stephanie Coates

    Thor and Valkyrie were proud parents in 2015. Here’s a shot of their newly hatched chick and pipping eggs!

  • Canyon

    Alpha Flag Code:
    ep
    Capture Date: 5-8-15
    Sex: male
    Location: The Long-billed Curlew Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) between Middleton and Emmett Idaho.
    Namesake: Canyon is named after Canyon County, Idaho by students from Emmett High School.

    EP and BSU Grad Student, Stephanie Coates

    Canyon and BSU Grad Student, Stephanie Coates

  • Lady

    Alpha Flag Code:
    ladyCY
    Capture date: 5-25-15
    Sex: Female
    Location: Polecat Bench near Cody, Wyoming
    Namesake: “Lady” or “Lady Susan” is named for Susan Ahalt (aka the Bird Lady) owner of Iron Side Bird Rescue in Cody, WY. She started 28 years ago rescuing a baby starling in her chimney. She has primarily rehabilitated birds in the the Bighorn Basin WY, Powder River Basin WY, and Southern MT.

    Curlew Technician, Eric, gets ready to release Lady

    Curlew Technician, Eric, gets ready to release Lady

  • Zarapita

    Alpha Flag Code:
    CN
    Capture date: 5-26-15
    Sex: Female
    Location: Heart Mountain near Cody, Wyoming
    Namesake: Zarapito is the spanish word for curlew. Since many of our curlews, including Zarapita, winter in Mexico we thought this would be the perfect name for her!

    CN just before being released on the beautiful Heart Mountain Ranch

    Zarapita just before being released on the beautiful Heart Mountain Ranch

  • E.T.

    Alpha Flag Code:
    ET
    Capture date: 6-3-15
    Sex: Female
    Location: Pinedale, WY
    Namesake: E.T. leg flag initials are so cool that they stuck! She’s named after the famous alien, ET…although we thing she’s much cuter than her namesake.

    Sue Briggs Stanfill, landowner for the ranch near Pinedale where ET nested, holds ET just before being released.

  • Kasey

    Alpha Flag Code:
    KC
    Capture date: 6-3-15
    Sex: Female
    Location: Daniel, Wyoming
    Namesake: Kasey’s leg flag initials were so cool that they stuck! Incidentally, Kasey is an Irish name that can mean observant, brave, alert, and vigilant…all fitting adjectives for this curlew mom.

    Susan Patla, Nongame Biologist for Wyoming Game and Fish Department gets ready to release KC

    Susan Patla, Nongame Biologist for Wyoming Game and Fish Department and major curlew project supporter gets ready to release Kasey.

  • Athena and Zeus

    Alpha Flag Codes:
    HHKA
    Capture dates: 5-7-16 and 5-5-16
    Sex: mated pair
    Location: Idaho Army National Guard Orchard Combat Training Center, south of the Boise Airport
    Namesake: Zeus and Athena are named after Greek gods! Their names were entered into our Curlews in the Classroom naming contest by Middleton Middle School’s 7th grade science class, and won 40% of the final vote in our Facebook naming contest.

    Heather Hayes with HH

    Athena shares her initials with curlew crew member, Heather Hayes!

    KA holds the record for the shortest bill of any of our transmittered curlews...only 106mm (4 inches)!

    Zeus holds the record for the shortest bill of any of our transmittered curlews…only 106mm (4 inches)!

  • Syringa

    Alpha Flag Codes:
    JK
    Capture date: 5-7-16
    Sex: Female
    Location: Idaho Army National Guard Orchard Combat Training Center, south of the Boise Airport
    Namesake: Syringa was the top name choice for a female curlew in a naming contest held among Idaho schoolchildren. Mrs. Wilson’s 4th grade class at Adam’s Elementary chose this beautiful name because it is the state flower of Idaho!

    Syringa waits patiently with a bandana over her head as Jay attaches her transmitter

    Syringa waits patiently with a bandana over her head as Jay attaches her transmitter

    Syringa poses for her profile photo

    Syringa poses for her profile photo



Deceased


  • shothenry
    hy
  • Ada

    Deceased: Eaten by a predator, July 2013
    Alpha Flag Code:
    AM
    Capture date: 5-9-13
    Sex: Female
    Location: The Long-billed Curlew Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) between Middleton and Emmett Idaho.

    Namesake: Ada County, Idaho, near her summer home on the ACEC. Ada’s name was chosen by IBO’s Facebook fans.

    Ada is the 3rd Curlew captured for our study. She and her mate, Emmett, successfully hatched 4 chicks on June 5th, 2013! Ada became famous when a crew from the Idaho Statesman came out to watch her receive a transmitter! Story here. Ada was killed and eaten while on her wintering grounds in California, most likely by a Prairie Falcon. Story here.

    Photo by Darin Oswald, Idaho Statesman

    Ada, held by Jessica just before being released. Photo by Darin Oswald, Idaho Statesman

  • Emmett

    Deceased: Shot illegally in 2016
    Alpha Flag Code:
    AE
    Capture date:6-4-13
    Sex: Male
    Location: The Long-billed Curlew Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) between Middleton and Emmett Idaho.

    Namesake: The town of Emmett, Idaho, near his summer home on the ACEC. Emmett’s name was chosen by IBO’s Facebook fans.

    Emmett was the 5th Curlew captured for our study, and was tracked for the longest amount of time. We followed him for over 6 migrations.

    Emmett’s obituary in The Messenger Index newspaper

    He and his mate, Ada had 4 chicks hatch on June 5th, 2013. Emmett was tagged as a replacement after ‘Carl’ died and we were able to recover the transmitter. After migrating to California, Emmett returned to the ACEC in 2014 but did not breed. Emmett spent the winter of 14-15 in California once again, and was the first of our transmittered birds to return to the ACEC in 2015. He spent the summer of 2016 on a territory next to his neighbors Frank and Bethine. Although he did not have a mate or chicks of his own that summer, we frequently observed him mobbing predators and teaming up with a nearby pair to protect their chicks. He was likely shot while dive-bombing someone who was too close to the other curlew family.

    Our new male, Emmett, who received CA's old transmitter. Photo by Rob Miller

    Our new male, Emmett, who received CA’s old transmitter. Photo by Rob Miller

  • Venus

    Deceased: Shot illegally late May 2014
    Alpha Flag Code:
    AK
    Capture date: 5-5-14
    Sex: Female
    Location: The Long-billed Curlew Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) between Middleton and Emmett Idaho.

    Namesake: We asked the Community Cub Scout Pack (#255) of Middleton to help us give her a name. The pack voted and came up with the name “Venus”. We were surprised by their choice at first, but since Venus can mean “bright queen of the sky” we think the name is pretty fitting for a migratory bird like a curlew! VenusVenus was illegally shot in late May of 2014, soon after her chicks hatched. Read more about her story in our blog post “Silver Lining

  • “Carl”

    Deceased: Shot illegally in late May 2013
    Alpha Flag Code:
    CA
    Capture date:5-6-13
    Sex: Male
    Location: The Long-billed Curlew Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) between Middleton and Emmett Idaho.

    Namesake: Carl died before we could give him a real name, however the crew gave him the nickname “Carl” to match his alpha flag code, “CA”.

    After Memorial Day weekend, Jay became suspicious that something might be wrong with one of our transmitters since it was not transmitting/displaying normally. On June 2nd a team led by Liz went out and was able to recover the transmitter but our fears were confirmed – unfortunately, we found that he was dead. Because of the delay in finding his remains, we did not find an intact body, and cannot determine how he died.

    Based on our experience in recent years, our biggest cause for concern with this project was that a transmittered bird would be shot. After all, we see people out shooting – mostly ground squirrels or targets – every day at the study site and the day we trapped this male there was a recently-killed Swainson’s Hawk 150m from the curlew nest. And, we have certain evidence of curlews being shot and killed in 3 of the past 4 seasons (dead curlews with obvious bullet wounds) and we suspect it happens more than we are aware of. On her most recent visit to check the status of the birds over the Memorial Day weekend, Liz had seen numerous people shooting within 150m of where the pair was nesting and had recently hatched their chicks.

    Curlews become very vocal and defensive, thus easily visible, when they are trying to protect their chicks. We certainly cannot say that CA was shot, but whether shooting was at issue in this particular case, it remains a real risk for these curlews. Read the full blog post here.

    Proud dad 'Carl', on the day his chicks hatched. The last photo taken of him before he died. Photo by Liz Urban.

    Proud dad ‘Carl’, on the day his chicks hatched. The last photo taken of him before he died.
    Photo by Liz Urban.

  • Curley

    Deceased: Unknown cause, September 2013
    Alpha Flag Code:
    AX
    Capture date: 5-7-13
    Sex: Female
    Location: The Long-billed Curlew Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) between Middleton and Emmett Idaho.

    Namesake: Curley’s transmitter was graciously funded by the McDanel Land Foundation. Because of this, the donor got the opportunity to name her. She is named after a family member who is a bird-lover and who’s nickname is, coincidentally, “Curley”! Also, because these donors are excited about the Curlew Classroom project, and they think Curley is a name that a second grader would choose. They hope it reminds the children of the name of the bird.

    Curley is the 2nd Curlew tagged for this study. We admired her for her spunky attitude, because while we were tagging her she was the only bird that actually tried to bite Fletcher! She hatched a nest with her mate, ‘Carl’, but unfortunately after Carl was shot the chicks did not survive. Curley was a fighter though, and was able to survive and move to a safer location on the ACEC after losing her mate and chicks.

    Curley died in late September on her wintering grounds in California from unknown causes.

    Curley defending her chicks on the day they hatched. Photo by Liz Urban

    Curley defending her chicks on the day they hatched. Photo by Liz Urban


  • Shotgun

    Deceased: Peregrine Falcon depredation in June 2016
    Alpha Flag Code:
    shotEA
    Capture date: 5-29-15
    Sex: Female
    Location: Shotgun Valley, Idaho
    Namesake:  We nicknamed this bird Shotgun because she bred in the Shotgun Valley in Idaho.

    Shotgun was caught by a nesting Peregrine Falcon during her southward migration in 2015. She was most likely fed to the two hungry Peregrine chicks! Read more about the recovery of her transmitter in our blog post: What Happens in Vegas…

    Idaho Fish and Game biologist Rob Cavallaro gets ready to release 'Shotgun'

    Idaho Fish and Game biologist Rob Cavallaro gets ready to release ‘Shotgun’

  • Jay Jr.

    Deceased: Died during southbound migration 2016

    Alpha Flag Code:
    jayJC
    Capture date: 6-3-15
    Sex: Male
    Location: Daniel, Wyoming
    Namesake: Because his leg flag code, JC, matches the initials of Jay Carlisle (IBO research director and curlew project lead), we couldn’t help naming him after Jay!

    Jay with JC

    Jay holds “Jay Jr.” in beautiful Daniel, Wyoming

  • Henry

    Deceased: Road Killed in July 2015
    Alpha Flag Code:
    henryCV
    Capture date: 5-28-15
    Sex: Male
    Location: The Nature Conservancy’s Flat Ranch Preserve near Island Park, ID
    Namesake: Henry bred near Henry’s Lake in eastern Idaho.

    Henry was Henrietta‘s mate in 2015. We believe he was hit by a car on the busy highway that runs along the Flat Ranch Preserve.

    Read more about the recovery of his transmitter in our blog post: What Happens in Vegas…

    TNC Biologist Matthew Ward and son release Henry. Photo by Erica Gaeta

    TNC Biologist Matthew Ward and son release Henry.
    Photo by Erica Gaeta

  • HY

    Deceased: Unknown cause, Winter 2015-2016
    Alpha Flag Code:
    HYtag
    Capture date: 5-31-15
    Sex: Female
    Location: Grand Teton National Park
    Namesake: We didn’t get a chance to name HY before she died.

    Mary releases HY in Grand Teton

    Mary releases HY in Grand Teton. Mary Lohuis of Jackson is a key volunteer on many local wildlife projects and integral part of the Meg & Bert Raynes Wildlife Fund that helps support the curlew project.

    HY bred in the beautiful Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. She spent her winter near the Colorado River Delta where the river runs into the Gulf of California. Her transmitter showed strange movement patterns in early 2016 and we later lost track of her. It appears that she may have died and her transmitter floated out to sea for a while before sinking to the bottom.

    HY's transmitter floated out to sea before disappearing

    HY’s transmitter floated out to sea before disappearing



Previously Tracked (no longer transmitting)

  • mill

  • Gem

    Missing: last transmitted on December 14, 2015
    Alpha Flag Code:
    cp
    Capture Date: 5-1-15
    Sex: female
    Location: The Long-billed Curlew Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) between Middleton and Emmett Idaho.
    Namesake: Gem is named after Gem County, Idaho by students from Emmett High School.

    Gem shows off her wingspan while receiving her transmitter backpack. Photo by Heather Hayes

    Gem shows off her wingspan while receiving her transmitter backpack. Photo by Heather Hayes

  • Borah

    Transmitter removed June 2014
    Alpha Flag Code:
    AU
    Capture date:5-25-13
    Sex: Male
    Location: The Page Family’s Big Creek Ranch, near the town of May, ID. Pahsimeroi Valley.

    Namesake: Mount Borah, the highest mountain in Idaho (12,668ft). Borah’s home, on the Goldburg Parcel of the Big Creek Ranch, is in the shadows of Mt. Borah and the rest of the Lost River Mountain Range. Borah’s transmitter was graciously funded by the Page Family Foundation. Borah is the 4th bird captured for our study. He is the only one of our Curlews that does not live in the ACEC. He gives us a great opportunity to compare the behavior of our birds in the Treasure Valley, since he lives in a very undisturbed, high-quality area.

    Fun fact: We chose the tag “AU” for Borah, because AU is the atomic symbol for Gold, and he lives on the Goldburg Parcel of the ranch. Over the winter of 2013-2014 Borah headed south to Mexico and spend time at the mouth of the Colorado River before moving north in to California’s central valley.

    In 2014 Borah gave us a scare when his transmitter showed he wasn’t moving. After thinking he was dead, we were relieved to discover that the strap on his transmitter had worn through and fallen off. We are happy to have one still very alive curlew, though we wish we could track his movements on another migration!

    Borah, just before release, with his namesake Mt. Borah in the background. Photo by Heidi Ware

    Borah, just before release, with his namesake Mt. Borah in the background. Photo by Heidi Ware

  • Byron

    Malfunctioning transmitter: last transmitted on June 2, 2014
    Alpha Flag Code:
    AP
    Capture date: 5-14-14
    Sex: Male
    Location: MPG Ranch near Florence, MT

    Namesake: Byron is named in memory of Byron Weber. Bitterroot Audubon has a memorial scholarship in memory of this teacher, naturalist, leader and conservationist. Contribute to the scholarship/education fund here. “Byron is remembered for his passion for living things. This passion fueled his entire life. He made learning about our natural environment accessible and meaningful. Encouraging all ages to explore, respect and preserve the splendid natural world around us was how Byron lived and worked.”

    Byron is mated to Florence, one of the female curlews we transmittered at MPG ranch. They successfully hatched chicks in May 2014! He also holds the record for the shortest bill of any Montana curlew we’ve caught! (less than 10 centimeters)

    AP

    Hannah from Intermountain West Joint Venture holds Byron just before releasing him.

  • Florence

    Malfunctioning transmitter: last transmitted on June 28, 2014
    Alpha Flag Code:
    AL
    Capture date: 5-13-14
    Sex: Female
    Location: MPG Ranch near Florence, MT

    Namesake: Florence is named after the town of Florence, MT which is the nearest town to her home at MPG Ranch. Florence is the mate of Byron, one of the other MPG Ranch Curlews. They successfully hatched chicks during the 2014 season! AL


  • Atticus

    Malfunctioning transmitter: last transmitted on July 27, 2014
    Alpha Flag Code:
    AC
    Capture date: 5-29-14
    Sex: Male Location: MPG Ranch near Florence, MT

    Namesake: Atticus is named after Atticus Finch from the famous novel To Kill a Mockingbird. After reading his story, you’ll understand why it is fitting to name this curlew after a famous and heroic single father. Atticus

  • Millie

    Alpha Flag Code:
    millCT
    Capture date: 5-15-15
    Sex: Female
    Location: The Page Family’s Big Creek Ranch, near the town of May, ID. Pahsimeroi Valley.
    Namesake: Since the Page family funded this transmitter (Thank You Pages!) we asked them to choose her name. They decided to name her Millie because she lives near Mill Creek on the ranch.