Which birds of the genus Numenius have long, down-curved bills and brown plumage?
The curlews, genus Numenius, are a group of eight species of birds, characterized by long, slender, downcurved bills and mottled brown plumage.
They are one of the most ancient lineages of scolopacid waders, together with the godwits which look similar but have straight bills.
Curlews feed on mud or very soft ground, searching for worms and other invertebrates with their long bills. They will also take crabs and similar items.
The distribution of curlews has altered considerably in the past hundred years as a result of changing agricultural practices. Reclamation and drainage of marshy fields and moorland, and afforestation of the latter, have led to local decreases, while conversion of forest to grassland in some parts of Scandinavia has led to increases there. There are now only a small number of curlews in Ireland and Britain raising concerns that the bird will go extinct in those countries.