Birders photograph rare species outside Juneau

May 13, 2014 -- 12:30pm
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A shorebird rarely seen in Alaska has been photographed outside Juneau. KTOO-radio reports Martina Kallenberger and husband Doug Sanvik spotted a long-billed curlew at the Boy Scout Camp north of Alaska's capital. Long-billed curlews are North America's largest shorebird. Audubon Alaska executive director Nels Warnock says their closest breeding area is southern British Columbia and the sighting in Alaska is only the fourth on record. Long-billed curlews are 20 to 25 inches long. They're known for their long, downward-curved bills. Kallenberger says they were watching Lapland longspurs when they noticed two shorebirds near a stream. One was a whimbrel and one was "shockingly different." She says they consulted bird books for at least an hour confirming the identity of the bird.

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