The Search for the Eskimo Curlew

My non-fiction piece “Encounters with a Ghost” was published in EarthSpeak.

Eskimo Curlew, 1962

What started out as another enviornmental journalism project soon became a quest to discover more about the Eskimo Curlew–a “grail bird”–also known as a species that is tettering so close to the edge of extinction that it is unclear whether the bird exists or does not. Here is one excerpt from the article. This passage is based on my interview with a birder who claimed to encounter the Eskimo Curlew in North Point, Canada in 1976:

Kathleen Elizabeth Anderson was banding shorebirds along the western shore of James Bay in Canada with renowned ornithologist Joseph “Archie” Hagar, when they saw what they were convinced was a pair of Eskimo Curlew flying towards them just above eye level.  The date was August 15, 1976. “In the birding world, if they haven’t seen it themselves they question it,” Anderson said. “And then there are those who see it the same as a flying saucer. There are so many people who haven’t seen it, and certainly don’t think the Eskimo Curlew exists. They are going to feel the same way about my flying saucer, if I claim I saw one.”

Here is a link to my story, in Issue No. 3 of EarthSpeak Magazine. The story also contains a larger copy of the only photo of the Eskimo Curlew, a photo taken in 1962 by photographer Don Bleitz. (shown above as a thumbnail)

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