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a biologists hands hold a curlew with a green leg band on its leg
Napoleon shows off his short bill and poses for his profile picture before being released back to his nesting territory in the Bitterroot Valley

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Capture date:

May 9, 2017




Near MPG Ranch Florence, MT


Because of his tiny bill and tough attitude, he earned the nickname “Napoleon” from the curlew crew.

Though this male, Napoleon,  had broken the record for shortest curlew bill (just a little over 4 inches), he was quite the tough guy! He was super wiggly and acted fierce by trying to “bite” us, which for a curlew, equates to nothing more than little soft nibbles on your hand that feel more like a tickle!! We didn’t have the heart to tell him that, though :)

Did you know that a curlew’s bill can tell us A LOT of information? For one, we can tell the size of the bird by measuring it,  like when you go for a check-up and the doctor measures your height. The longer the bill, the “bigger” the curlew. The length of bill also gives us a clue if it is a male or a female.


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