Burhinus grallarius

BURHINIDAE

Bush Stone-curlew

Description
The Bush Stone-curlew, or Bush Thick-knee, is a large, slim, mainly nocturnal, ground-dwelling bird. It is mostly grey-brown above, streaked with black and rufous. It is whitish below with clear, vertical black streaks. The bill is small and black, and the eye is large and yellow, with a prominent white eyebrow. Both sexes are similar. Young Bush Stone-curlews are similar in appearance to the adults, but are paler, and a little browner in colour. Bush Stone-curlews are nocturnal birds (night birds), doing all their feeding and other activities at night.
Feeding
Bush Stone-curlews have a wide-ranging diet, but prefer to feed on insects, molluscs, small lizards, seeds and occasionally small mammals. Feeding takes place at night. During the breeding season, nesting birds will search for food in the vicinity of the nest site, while at other times, birds may travel large distances. All food is taken from the ground.
Breeding
Bush Stone-curlews have a remarkable courtship dance. Individuals stand with their wings outstretched, their tail upright and their neck stretched slightly forward. The birds will stamp their feet up and down, like a soldier marking time. This courtship ritual is repeated for an hour or more at a time and is accompanied by loud and constant calling. Eggs are laid in a shallow scrape in the ground and both adults share the incubation and care for the young.
Call
The voice is a characteristic drawn-out, mournful "wer-loooo", often heard at dusk and during the night. In the local area they are oftern called Storm birds because of their call 'storm' starting of low and ending in a higher pitch, usually called out when rain is about.
Resources
http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Burhinus-grallarius

http://www.ozanimals.com/Bird/Bush-Stone-curlew/Burhinus/grallarius.html

 

Photo courtesy of Nadine Andersen.

 

More information can be found on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burhinus_grallarius

 


[go back]

superior