This is a video of a long-billed curlew feeding.
12 June 2011.
From Dan Tallman’s Bird Blog in the USA:
Like other birders and banders, I haven’t been seeing much for the past week. I have banded no birds for the past three days. Perhaps we are being fooled by our lovely April weather. The migrants, however, seem to know better than to return to Minnesota before May. I checked my records from last year and found that banding did not pick up until the first of May. The plant store assures us that the average last frost for the Twin Cities is in mid-May!
So I find my thoughts drifting to Long-billed Curlews. When we taught outdoor education classes, we introduced our students to predictive morphology. By knowing the shape of a bird’s bill, you might be able to predict its feeding habits. The longer the bill, especially among shorebirds, the deeper it should probe. The Long-billed Curlew does, indeed, probe deeply in the ocean mudflats where it winters.
But what does it do with that bill where it breeds in dry Mid-West? From my reading, I do not think too much is known about their summer food habits. My colleague Doug Backlund of South Dakota discovered that Long-billed Curlews insert their bills down wolf spider burrows in search of juicy arachnids. … I also read that Long-billed Curlews use their bills to flip cow pies in order to expose invertebrate prey!
The probing and cow pie information is from: Dugger, Bruce D. and Katie M. Dugger. 2002. Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu.bnaproxy.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/628
I heard yesterday from a spider researcher that Eurasian curlews also eat underground wolf spiders.
Worlds Largest Spider Species to be Bred at San Diego Zoo: here.
World’s hardest spider preys on other spiders. It also has a super adhesive grip that can rip other spiders legs off: here.
Charlotte’s Getting Shabby: Aging Spiders Weave Messy Webs: here.
July 2011: Four species of African purse-web spiders previously unknown to science have been found by a team of international researchers: here.
Madagascar’s elusive shell-squatting spider filmed: here.
New Zealand spiders: here.
July 2011. BirdWatch Ireland has carried out the first survey specifically to find breeding Curlew in Ireland – in counties Donegal and Mayo. The results are most worrying, as Anita Donaghy reports: here.
Here’s news that might shock at least the 9,000 people evacuated from the flooded city of Wagga Wagga in south-east Australia: the town they left has since been overrun with [wolf] spiders: here.