Texas coast harbors the largest, eastern-most populations of Long-billed Curlews (Numenius americanus) in North America; however, very little is known about their migration and wintering ecology. Curlews are readily captured on their breeding grounds, but experience with capturing the species during the non-breeding season is extremely limited. We assessed the efficacy of 6 capture techniques for Long-billed Curlews in winter: 1) modified noose ropes, 2) remotely controlled bow net, 3) Coda Netgun, 4) Super Talon net gun, 5) Hawkseye whoosh net, and 6) cast net. The Coda Netgun had the highest rate of captures per unit of effort (CPUE = 0.31; 4 curlew captures/13 d of trapping effort), followed by bow net (CPUE = 0.17; 1 capture/6 d of effort), whoosh net (CPUE = 0.14; 1 capturel7 d of effort), and noose ropes (CPUE = 0.07; 1 capturel15 d of effort). No curlews were captured using the Super Talon net gun or a cast net (3 d and 1 d of effort, respectively). Multiple capture techniques should be readily available for maximum flexibility in matching capture methods with neophobic curlews that often unpredictably change referred feeding locations among extremely different habitat types.
Additional publication details
Evaluation of capture techniques for long-billed curlews wintering in Texas