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a closeup of Zeus the curlew held gently by a biologists hands

Deceased: Shot illegally in April 2018

Alpha Flag Code: KA
Capture Date:  5-5-16
Sex: Male
Location: Idaho Army National Guard Orchard Combat Training Center, south of the Boise Airport
Namesake: Zeus and his mate Athena nested together in 2016 and 2017. They are named after Greek gods! Their names were entered into our curlews in the classroom naming contest by Middleton Middle School’s 7th grade science class, and won 40% of the final vote in our IBO Curlew Crew Facebook naming contest.

Zeus holds the honor of having one of the shortest bills among our transmittered curlews…only 106mm (4 inches)!

On April 19th 2018 we found Zeus dead after one of our volunteer data checkers noticed his transmitter was not moving. Based on the evidence of scavenging around his carcass, we thought that he had been killed by a predator, perhaps a Prairie Falcon. We entered “predation” as his cause of death on our spreadsheet.

scattered feathers and the dead body of a curlew lay in the grass. Text from the necropsy report below the photo says "cause of death: gunshot"

However, we sent his body in to the wildlife health laboratory just to be sure. In June,  we received the final necropsy report from Dr. Mark Drew at the lab, along with the report on a Swainson’s Hawk that we found dead around the same time. In both cases the cause of death was GUNSHOT

Jay Carlisle–Research Director at Intermountain Bird Observatory and Curlew project lead said:

“This confirms 3 shot/poached curlews on Bureau of Land Management – Idaho lands S of Boise (on the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area / Orchard Combat Training Center, Idaho) in 2018 – to add to the 4 confirmed shot in 2017.

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