ETYM French courlieu, corlieu, courlis; perh. of imitative origin, but cf. Old Fren. corlieus courier; Latin currere to run + levis light.
Large migratory shorebirds of the sandpiper family; closely related to woodcocks but having a down-curved bill.
Wading bird of the genus Numenius of the sandpiper family, Scolopacidae. The curlew is between 36 cm/14 in and 55 cm/1.8 ft in length, and has mottled brown plumage, long legs, and a long, thin, downcurved bill. Several species live in N Europe, Asia, and North America. The name derives from its haunting flutelike call.
One species, the Eskimo curlew, is almost extinct, never having recovered from relentless hunting in the late 19th century.
City in Iowa (USA); zip code 50527.