Bush Stone-curlew

Burhinus magnirostris

The Bush Stone-curlew is listed in the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 as an endangered species.

It is a long-legged ground-dwelling bird weighing between 625g (female) and 670g (male).  The Brush Stone-curlew lives and breeds mainly in sparse grassy eucalypt woodlands.  They rely on fallen logs and branches for nesting and camouflage. 

Curlews mate for life and produce one to two eggs each season. The eggs are laid on the ground and both adults share incubation and looking after the young. Curlew eggs are well camouflaged and the adults get aggressive and protective when danger approaches the nest.

The Brush Stone-curlew is well known for its wee-loo call which can be heard more often during mating season.  The Curlew forages at night and lives on a diet of insects, molluscs, crustaceans, spiders, lizards and small snakes.

During the day the Curlew crouches on the ground and is extremely well camouflaged.  They hide behind logs and freezes when approached rather that fly away, this makes them extremely vulnerable to attacks from sneaky predators like dogs, cats and foxes.

Once upon a time these birds were reported in flocks of 50 to 100 but now it is rare to see even 1 pair.  This decline has occurred over the last 30 year and is mainly due to the clearing of logs from the under story of the woodlands, fires, particularly frequent burning, degradation of habitat through overgrazing, logging, and habitat loss from farming and urban development. The hiding places they once used are scarce and they can be easily hunted by foxes and domestic animals.