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Survey and Monitoring Resources


If you would like to get involved in Curlew survey and monitoring, whatever your experience level, then we have a range of survey and monitoring resources and supporting information to help you get started.

  1. If you are looking to survey breeding Curlews this spring then have a look at our Survey and Monitoring Guidance below, which provides flexibility for fieldworkers with different experience levels and time constraints.

  2. For those looking to engage in quick and easy survey and monitoring of breeding Curlews and other waders, especially farmers, landowners and those looking to try wader fieldwork for the first time, please see the BTO Wader Calendar below.

  3. For those looking to engage in fieldwork specifically on breeding Curlews, please see our Curlew Fieldworker Toolkit (Part 1) below.

  4. For those looking to engage in more technical fieldwork at or around Curlew nests, please request our Curlew Fieldworker Toolkit (Part 2) as outlined below.

  5. If you would like to access additional International Guidance from AEWA for Curlew survey and monitoring, please click here. 

  6. For anyone interested in understanding more about breeding Curlews, particularly their vocalisations and behaviour, please click here for an excellent Curlew Observation Training Film produced by our partners at Curlew Country.

  7. Finally, please visit the About Curlews page for background information on Curlews and links to useful resources produced by our partners and other conservation organisations.

Curlew Survey and Monitoring Guidance

The CRP Curlew Survey and Monitoring Guidance has been developed by an expert Working Group chaired by Dr Geoff Hilton of the CRP Steering Group. The guidance uses a three-tier approach suitable for fieldworkers with different experience levels and time constraints, and further fieldwork tips are available in the Curlew Fieldworker Toolkit belowWe are particularly keen for those involved in local Curlew projects to trial the guidance and to provide feedback that will enable us to improve it in future years. We encourage those using the guidance to submit their data to BTO Birdtrack or their local County Bird Recorder (details provided below), but also to retain a copy locally. Note that with our partners at BTO we are currently exploring the optimal mechanism for the transfer and archiving of breeding Curlew data in England.

To download the Survey and Monitoring Guidance in PDF format click here.

To download example Survey Sheets for Tiers 1-3 click the links below:

Tier 1 Survey Sheet

Tier 2 Survey Sheet

Tier 3 Survey Sheet 

To access BTO Birdtrack click here.

To see a list of County Bird Recorders click here.

BTO Wader Calendar

The BTO Wader Calendar is a simple survey for Curlews and other breeding waders designed by our partners at the BTO, and is aimed at farmers, small landowners, and general Curlew enthusiasts who want to get involved in survey work but maybe lack the time and/or experience for more detailed surveys. The Wader Calendar commences in the week beginning 27 March and continues through to the end of July. It is intended to provide information about which species of waders are present on a site, how many there are, and whether they are breeding successfully or not. The results of the survey will be collated and analysed by BTO, and will contribute to our understanding of Curlew (and other wader) distribution and productivity across England.


To access the Wader Calendar please visit the BTO website here.


Curlew Fieldworker Toolkit

The CRP Curlew Fieldworker Toolkit is an essential resource for anyone starting or engaging in Curlew fieldwork. Although originally designed for fieldworkers operating in lowland England, the Toolkit also contains useful tips and info for Curlew fieldworkers in upland regions.

The Toolkit comprises 15 handy factsheets that represent many thousands of hours of fieldwork by a large number of Curlew researchers and enthusiasts. We are grateful to them all, and also want to specifically thank our partners at Curlew Action and WWT for initially driving the development of the CFT, to David Evans at WWT for compiling the factsheets, and to Mike Toms at BTO for support with design work.

Finally, this is only a first edition, and we will be updating some of the factsheets soon to take account of recent technological and practical developments.

The first six factsheets (Part 1) are available to download now by clicking the titles below.

  1. Basic Fieldcraft

  2. Curlew Identification

  3. Curlew Vocalisations and Behaviour

  4. Land Manager Liaison

  5. Mitigating Disturbance

  6. Curlew Roost Monitoring

The remaining nine factsheets listed below (Part 2) relate to work at or around the nest - they are available upon request, but will need to be accompanied by a short statement outlining the location where you are conducting fieldwork, the project you are supporting (if applicable), and the name of a recognised authority who can support your statement (e.g. a Curlew researcher, wader group co-ordinator or licensed BTO ringer). Note that you will be responsible for securing the necessary permits and permissions to conduct the planned fieldwork.


  1. Nest Finding using Field Observation

  2. Nest Finding using Rope Dragging

  3. Processing an Active Nest

  4. Processing an Empty Nest

  5. Estimating Hatching Date

  6. Temperature Loggers

  7. Nest Cameras

  8. Nest Fencing

  9. Radio-tracking Curlew Chicks

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