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Stone Curlew

About Stone Curlew

This bird is a heavy-bodied, long legged bird with quite short, strong bill and big, staring yellow eyes. Light brown above, flecked and streaked with darker brown; white wingbar bordered with black, visible when standing; two white wingbars and dark leading edge in flight; belly and flanks white. Yellow legs; bill short and straight, with black tip and yellow base.

The Stone Curlew breeds in the spring. The nest is a shallow scrape on the ground, unlined or thinly line with plant fragments, small stones, or rabbit dung. The female lays 2-3 whitish to pale brown eggs, mottled and streaked with brown and gray. The eggs are incubated by both parents fo 25-27 days.

This bird is a strange looking one and is a secretive, mainly nocturnal bird of sandy heaths, stony grasslands, and fields. It spends most of the day doing nothing, but becomes active at night when its eyesight allows it to find prey, such as beetles, grubs, earthworms, and even mice. It searches the ground fast and can run fast after its prey.

The Stone Curlew is a sociable bird and it will form flocks in the fall and winter. They may even feed during breeding season in groups.

Although it is still a common bird, the Stone Curlew has declined in regions where intensive farming has destroyed its wild grassland habitat.