The bush stone curlew is relatively common in Queensland but has become less common further south particularly in Victoria and NSW where it is now listed as endangered. If the pair spotted this year nesting in an Airport car-park are anything to go on it’s not surprising their numbers are not holding up well in developed areas.
Caught in the early morning light this pair has been taking turns sitting on eggs for several days now with the partner wandering around nearby, they have every reason to be anxious parents having laid their eggs in a tiny curb garden of a corporate car-park. Not the ideal place to raise ground dwelling chicks.
Another regular spot is a Brisbane golf course, possibly an even more dangerous spot for these birds with no road sense, not only is there some crazy golf buggy activity but golf balls landing wide of the fairway in the area picked by this group to raise their chicks. In all honesty probably not so smart for this photographer either as another ball soared over my head and into the creek.
Basic Information on Bush Stone Curlew
The bush stone curlew, or bush thick-knee as it is also called, is endemic to Australia and has a diverse habitat which generally includes open woodland, the edge of forest and inland watercourse areas.
Although they are ground-dwelling birds that can move with speed and agility on their long legs they can also fly well but rarely choose to during the day. When disturbed they stand statue still or make themselves as small and low as possible relying on their camouflage for protection from predators. This likely explains their low numbers when faced with introduced species like foxes, cats and dogs.
Bush Stone Curlew are hunters, either individually or in pairs they probe soft soil and rotting wood over a large home range for food which is usually small grassland animals: frogs, spiders, insects, molluscs, crustaceans, snakes, lizards and small mammals. If food is short they will also eat seeds or tubers.