Last month, our Australian correspondent Shane Martin contributed a striking gallery of Galahs goofing around in Brisbane. Now, Shane shines a spotlight on the species Aussie locals call thick-knees but proper bird watchers identify as Bush Stone Curlews…
According to Shane, these stone curlews blend into the background rather well. They also stay still when people are close. Consequently, most folks just walk by without spotting them.
Bush Stone Curlews are mostly nocturnal, which explains the closed eyes in the photo above. The next shot should clear up where the nickname “thick-knee” comes from.
In fact, Bush Stone Curlews (Burhinus grallarius) belong to the family Burhinidae, which includes various and sundry Stone-curlews and Thick-knees around the world. Note that the Stone Curlew is not a true curlew like the birds in the genus Numenius.
Shane notes that their loud calls at night sound more like women screaming than melodious birds. Then again, these are shorebirds, not songbirds!
Many thanks, Shane, for these gorgeous photos and the permission to share them!