World Curlew Day Date in the current year: April 21, 2024

World Curlew Day World Curlew Day is observed by various environmental organizations around the globe on April 21. It was created to celebrate amazing birds that don’t get as much attention as they deserve, raise awareness of the dangers that curlews face, and promote their conservation.

The curlews are nine bird species that make up the genus Numenius. They are easily recognizable by their long, slender bills that curve downwards and their mottled brown feathers. Curlews can be found worldwide; since most curlew species are migratory, they can be encountered in different parts of the world at different times of the year.

Out of the nine curlew species, two are classified as critically endangered (the Eskimo curlew and the slender-billed curlew), one as endangered (the Far Eastern curlew), and two as near threatened (the Eurasian curlew and the bristle-thighed curlew). Despite being widespread in some parts of the world, the population of the Eurasian curlew in the United Kingdom and Ireland has declined dramatically over the past decades. The main threats that curlews face are man-made; they include excessive hunting, habitat loss, and pollution.

World Curlew Day was first observed in 2017. It was started by British environmentalist and freelance producer and author Mary Colwell to raise awareness of the endangerment of the European curlew in the British Isles. Today, World Curlew Day is a grassroots initiative supported and promoted by environmental organizations all over the world.

The holiday is celebrated on April 21 because it is the feast day of Saint Beuno, a 7th-century Welsh missionary who is regarded as the patron of curlews. According to legend, one day Saint Beuno was traveling from the Llŷn Peninsula to the island of Anglesey, and a strong gust of wind rocked his small boat, causing Saint Beuno to drop his book of sermons into the sea. However, a long-billed brown bird suddenly swooped down to the water, saved the book, and left it on the shore to dry. This bird was, of course, a curlew. Saint Beuno was so grateful that he blessed the bird and declared that curlew nests would be always hard to find to keep their young protected.

In addition to being the feast day of Saint Beuno, April 21 is the day when Mary Colwell began her Curlew Walk that she would later describe in her book Curlew Moon. In the April of 2016, Colwell walked 500 miles from Lough Erne in Northern Ireland to Boston, Lincolnshire to raise awareness of the plight of the European curlew.

World Curlew Day is marked with awareness events held by environmental organizations, concerned individuals, and other stakeholders around the globe. You can join the celebration by learning more about curlews and sharing the facts you’ve learned with others, attending a World Curlew Day event near you or hosting an event on your own, participating in the World Curlew Day art and poetry competition organized by Curlew Action, donating to an environmental organization that has a curlew conservation program, volunteering at a wildlife rescue, and raising awareness on social media with the hashtags #WorldCurlewDay and #CurlewDay.

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International Observances, Ecological Observances


World Curlew Day, international observances, environmental observances, curlew conservation, Mary Colwell