Bush Stone-curlew at the Australian Reptile Park

Bush Stone-curlew

Bush Stone-curlew

As I was meandering through the aviary section on our recent family visit to the Australian Reptile Park north of Sydney, I managed to get this interesting photo of a Bush Stone-curlew.

This individual is obviously quite relaxed near humans, with hundreds passing by its aviary on a daily basis. It fact, its pose almost suggests it is being curious about what I was doing, and came very close to investigate.

Or was it deliberately posing in a provocative way to get my attention?

Further reading:

You can see more photos and read more about this species by clicking on these related articles:

Bush Stone-curlew, Adelaide Zoo

Bush Stone-curlew, Adelaide Zoo

One of the more interesting birds on display in the Adelaide Zoo here in South Australia is this Bush Stone-curlew.

Standing just over half a metre in height it is an imposing bird. This individual wanders around an open enclosure with Pelicans, a variety of ducks and some Cape Barren Geese. I am assuming it has had its wings clipped to keep it from flying off.

Although this species is widespread throughout a large range across Australia, I have yet to see this bird in its natural environment. It is mainly active at night and most observers’ encounters with the species would be only hearing its haunting, far-reaching “weer-loo” call at night.

Bush Stone-curlew

Bush Stone-curlew, Adelaide Zoo

The Bush Stone-curlew is a species I have yet to see in its natural environment. They are not all that common here in South Australia, so I was pleased to see and photograph this bird recently in the Pelican enclosure at Adelaide Zoo. The white thing pointing at it in the top left hand corner of the photo is actually the beak of a pelican.

Bush Stone-curlews are found in the western half of Western Australia, across northern Australia and in eastern and south eastern Australia. In some parts of their former range they are now uncommon to rare in areas settled for farming or urban sprawl except in Brisbane suburbs where they seem to thrive.

Bush Stone-curlew, Adelaide Zoo, South Australia

Bush Stone-curlew, Adelaide Zoo, South Australia

Bush Stone-curlew, Adelaide Zoo, South Australia

I find the Bush Stone-curlew to be a fascinating bird. It seems so ungainly on its long legs, yet to see it run one has to conclude that it is very graceful in its movements.

While it tends to be a bird of the grasslands and open woodlands of rural western , northern, eastern and south eastern Australia, it has adapted to a more artificial lifestyle in urban areas, especially in Queensland.

Another intriguing aspect of this bird’s behaviour is its haunting call. The eerie ‘weee-ooo’ call carries far into the night – it usually calls at night – and is a well known sound of the Australian bush. To hear a recording of the call click here.

Sadly, I have yet to add this species to my list of birds seen in their natural environment.

The photos on this post were taken at the Adelaide Zoo.

Bush Stone-curlew, Adelaide Zoo, South Australia

Bush Stone-curlew, Adelaide Zoo, South Australia

Bush Stone-curlew, Adelaide Zoo, South Australia

Bush Stone-curlew, Adelaide Zoo, South Australia