The Eurasian stone-curlew, Eurasian thick-knee, or simply stone-curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus) is a northern species of the Burhinidae (stone-curlew) bird family.
Description & appearanceIt is a fairly large wader though is mid-sized by the standards of its family. Length ranges from 38 to 46 cm (15 to 18 in), wingspan from 76 to 88 cm (30 to 35 in) and weight from 290 to 535 g (10.2 to 18.9 oz). with a strong yellow and black beak, large yellow eyes (which give it a "reptilian", or "goggle-eyed" appearance), and cryptic plumage. The bird is striking in flight, with black and white wing markings.
Voice, singing & callIt is largely nocturnal, particularly when singing its loud wailing songs, which are reminiscent of that of curlews.
HabitatDespite being classed as a wader, this species prefers dry open habitats with some bare ground. The Eurasian stone curlew occurs throughout Europe, north Africa and southwestern Asia. It is a summer migrant in the more temperate European and Asian parts of its range, wintering in Africa. Although the species is of Least Concern, some populations are showing declines due to agricultural intensification. For example, a French population has declined with 26% over 14 years.
Hunting & foodFood consists of insects and other small invertebrates, and occasionally small reptiles, frogs and rodents.
Breeding, mating, chicks, juveniles & raiseIt lays 2–3 eggs in a narrow scrape in the ground.