A Little Curlew Goes a Long Way – Update #2

First of the flock

The Little Curlew migration has begun! 

The first bird to leave Anna Plains Station in northwest Australia is LL, which was flying past Roebuck Bay, Broome, just after midnight on 5th April (Figure 1.). It flew approximately 2,000km and has landed on Seram Island, Maluku province, Indonesia on the morning of April 7th (Figure 2.). This migration path is further east than migration paths of Little Curlews recorded in 2013 and 2015, and may be due to tropical cyclone Wallace tracking across the sea between Australia and Indonesia.Seram Island, Maluku province

Little Curlew migration tracks
Figure 1. Migration track of Little Curlew, LL, from Australia to Indonesia.
Location of LIttle Curlew, LL
Figure 2. Location of Little Curlew, LL, on the island of Maluki, Indonesia as of April 7th, 2019.


Clive Minton

The extensive and expensive satellite tracking program we have set up in NWA has only been possible through the efforts and generosity of a large number of people and organizations. It is difficult to know where to start with the formal acknowledgements so I will list them – but not in any particular order of priority.

  1. The members of the AWSG NWA 2019 Wader and Tern Expedition and similar NWA expeditions in previous years, are particularly thanked for their efforts in the field in catching, banding and deploying transmitters on a range of species.
  2. Landowners are especially thanked for permission to go onto their property to enable us to catch various species in order to deploy the satellite transmitters. In particular we thank Anna Plains Station for giving us the freedom to roam over large areas of grazed grassland when counting and catching target species.
  3. AWSG acknowledges the Yawuru People via the offices of Nyamba Buru Yawuru Limited for permission to catch birds on the shores of Roebuck Bay, traditional lands of the Yawuru people.
  4. AWSG acknowledges the Karajarri and Nyangumarta people for permission to catch birds to be marked for this project on the shores of 80 Mile Beach, traditional lands of the Karajarri and Nyangumarta.
  5. The cost of the satellite transmitters, which cost around $5000 each, and the satellite downloading costs (around $1000-1500 per month) have been met by a variety of sources. Private individuals (Charles Allen and Doris Graham) have made most generous individual contributions. Kate Gorringe-Smith and her team of artists involved in The Overwintering Project made a large, generous donation from funds raised during their various public exhibitions. The annual NWA Expedition members, collectively, also provided significant funds each year.
Nyangumarta logo
Kara Jarri Rangers logo
Inka Veltheim
Inka completed her PhD at Federation University, Australia in 2019, investigating the movement of Brolgas in Western Victoria. She with a passion for waterbird and wetland conservation and she has extensive experience in satellite tracking waterbirds.
Image credits:
Book cover for A Shorebird Flying Adventure

A Shorebird Flying Adventure

Available Now

Join Milly on her microlight and discover how amazing and awesome migratory shorebirds are!

Milly Formby is a zoologist and illustrator of the children’s book A Shorebird Flying Adventure. Available now through CSIRO Publishing.

Like this post? Share the shorebird-nerdiness on social!

More posts you might like...