Breeding habitat encompasses mosaic of subarctic and arctic tundra, including low shrub/tussock (Betula nana, Empetrum nigrum, Ledum palustre, Vaccinium spp.,Salix spp.), , mixed shrub thicket/tundra (Salix spp., Betula nana, and Alnus crispa over tussocks),tall shrubs and shrub meadow in the low, mountainous regions northeast of the lower Yukon River (Nulato Hills) and uplands of the Seward Peninsula, Alaska (Handel and Dau 1988, Marks et al. 2002). Sedge and lichen meadows also important. Habitat use changes during the breeding season. During pre-nesting, curlews tend to be found primarily in shrub meadow/tundra (33%) and low shrub/tussock (47%); during nesting the birds shift their activities mostly to shrub meadow/tundra; and during brood rearing, adults attending young increase their use of sedge meadows. Younger broods tend to use habitats with a moderate level of tussocks and shrub cover; after fledging they prefer sedge and lichen meadows.
Handel, C. M. and C. P. Dau. 1988. Seasonal occurrence of migrant Whimbrels and Bristle-thighed Curlews on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska. Condor 90: 782-790.
Marks, J.S., T. L. Tibbits, R. E. Gill, and B. J. McCaffery. 2002. Bristle-thighed Curlew (Numenius tahitiensis). In The Birds of North America, No.705 (A. Poole and F. Gill, Eds.). Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington, D.C.: The American Ornithologists’ Union.