Shorebirds to Undergo Intense Study

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A large shorebird that nests in grasslands and uses its extra-long beak to pluck crustaceans from mudflats and wolf spiders from animal burrows will be the subject of an intense study this summer in three states.

Scientists say the long-billed curlew is of particular interest because its downward curving beak allows it to live in a range of habitats, but populations appear to be dwindling.

Researchers in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming plan to put satellite transmitters on 19 of the ground-nesting birds this summer.

That’s more than triple the number of birds already being tracked.

Scientist Jay Carlisle of the Intermountain Bird Observatory at Boise State University says the birds face challenges on their breeding grounds as well as in wintering areas, mainly in central California.