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Wilson

a biologists hands hold a long billed curlew with fields and mountains in the background

Alpha Flag Code: JL
Capture date: May 29, 2018
Sex: Male
Location: Saratoga, WY

Namesake: Our colleagues at the Bureau of Land Management decided to name him after E.O. Wilson: a famous scientist, conservationist, and writer that we all admire!

While we gave him a transmitter, his well-camouflaged mate took over incubation duties.

Ever wonder why Long-billed curlews are so camouflaged like Wilson? Well, ground- nesting species use this incredible adaptation to protect themselves as well as their eggs and chicks from hungry predators. If a predator like a coyote comes trotting by, the curlew sinks lower and lower into the ground-what we call “sitting tight” to the nest- until blending completely into their surroundings. However, if a curlew happens to get caught off guard, the coyote will see it, and discover the snack size eggs. Often times the coyote will not eat all the eggs at once, but instead will dig a hole and “cache” (store) them for a later meal!