Head, neck, breast, and all the upper parts, rufous ash; belly and abdomen white; the whole variegated with dusky spots.
N. arquata, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. 11. p. 603. Common Curlew, Mont. Orn. Diet, & Supp. Selb. Illust. vol. 11. p. 62. pl. 13. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. 11. p. 36.
Entire length twenty-two to twenty-five inches: length of the bill from four to six inches and a half; of the tarsus three inches three lines; of the naked part of the tibia one inch two lines; of the tail four inches six lines; from the carpus to the end of the wing from eleven to eleven inches and a half: breadth, wings extended, from thirty-eight to forty-two inches.
Head, neck, and breast, pale ash tinged with rufous, the shafts and central portion of the feathers dusky; upper part of the back and scapulars blackish brown, the feathers broadly edged with pale rufous brown; lower part of the back inclining to white, spotted with black; tail yellowish white, with transverse brown bars; belly and abdomen white, with longitudinal dusky spots: upper mandible blackish brown; lower one flesh-colour: irides brown: legs and toes pale bluish gray. The female has less of the rufous, and more of the cinereous, tinge. The young of the year have the bill considerably shorter, and nearly straight. (Egg). Olive green; blotched and spotted with darker green and dark brown: long. diam. two inches seven lines; trans, diam. one inch eleven lines.
Common on most parts of the coast during the winter season. Retires inland, and to more elevated spots, to breed. Deposits its eggs amongst heath, rushes, or long grass, to the number of four or five. Feeds on worms, insects, and molluscous animals.