The long-billed curlew (Numenius americanus) is the largest American curlew species and was shot for food and sport throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This decoy is one of a handful of survivors of a shorebird rig owned and gunned over by Phillips. The unidentified master who carved this extraordinary decoy was clearly aware of John James Audubon's depiction (fig. 1) of the species since his bird closely follows the form of one of the two curlews Audubon captured in his painting. The decoy may be intended to represent a female, which have an even longer and more deeply curved bill than males. Other shorebird species from the Phillips rig were part of the collections of decoy connoisseurs Dr. James M. McCleery and Donal C. O'Brien Jr.
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