|Long-billed Curlew, photo by Frank Schulenburg|
|Willet, photo by Dick Daniels|
Visitors to the Seashore might be surprised to learn that curlews and willets were hunted extensively in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The following promotion was included in an 1890 advertisement for the Ponder Hotel on Ocracoke Island: "Sportsmen find game in abundance. It is remarked that the curlew and willet shooting surpasses the quail shooting of California." I can remember hearing my father (he was born in 1911) saying that shorebirds were "good eating!"
Today, curlews, willets, and other shorebirds are protected species. Their numbers have increased in recent decades, although loss of habitat still threatens their long-term survival.
This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is the entertaining story of Calvin Wilkerson and his Condomed Nautilus. You can read it here: https://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042117.htm.