The scientific name for Curlew Numenius 

refers to the curlew’s crescent shaped bill. Numenius comes from the Greek word, ‘neos’ meaning new and ‘mene’ meaning moon. The new moon. A beautiful poetic name for a beautiful elegant bird.

The Curlew- one of our native breeding wading birds and once a common sight in Ireland, has declined by 97% since the 1980’s and is on the red list of birds of conservation concern. While we see large numbers of Curlew on the Irish coasts in winter, they are mostly birds that are overwintering from other European countries and do not breed here. large scale changes to farmland, peatlands and the planting of forestry has had a hugely negative effect on the breeding Curlews nesting sights.  But it is not too late. Some conservation efforts by a dedicated few are happening. And it is possible to be commercial yet still have respect for other species on our earth. If we don’t explore these ways we will soon be living on a planet devoid of biodiversity and beautiful native species.

Moonbird in bronze before application of patina 

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© 2019 Fiona Smith