I was astonished to see these bush stone-curlews (also know as bush thick-knees, Burhinus grallarius) in a park in an urban area about an hour and a half from home. They seemed quite used to people – even a car driving over the grass near them (!) did not cause them to fly off.
These birds feed at night on insects, snails, small lizards, seeds and the occasional small mammal.
According to Birdsinbackyards:
Bush stone-curlews have a remarkable courtship dance. Individuals stand with their wings outstretched, their tail upright and their neck stretched slightly forward. The birds will stamp their feet up and down, like a soldier marking time. This courtship ritual is repeated for an hour or more at a time and is accompanied by loud and constant calling. Eggs are laid in a shallow scrape in the ground and both adults share the incubation and care for the young.
The driver of the car had obviously not seen – or chose to ignore – the prominent signs in the park.
I’ve seen beach stone-curlews (Esacus neglectus) in far north Queensland, but this was a first for me. Tick!