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It is the largest wader that visits Australia, with a very long down-curved bill. The female's bill is usually longer than the male's and averages 185 mm in length. It is a bulky, dark-streaked brown wader, with a long neck and legs. When flying, the barred flight feathers are visible, lighter under the wings and dark above. They are wary birds, quick to take flight. Their wing beats are slow and deliberate, unlike the rapid beats of the Whimbrel. Other names are Curlew and Australian or Sea Curlew.