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Adult stone-curlew in a game-cover crop

Image: Chris Gomersall

Also known as thick-knees, stone-curlews are medium-sized birds, related to waders and bustards, most of which live in dry places (but some live on river and lake sides and on coastal beaches). 

One species in the UK and Europe, but a few others in Australasia, south-east Asia, Africa and South America. 

They share features including large, bulging eyes (useful at dawn and dusk when they are most active), rather short, stout, pointed bills and strong legs. They are noisy birds at dusk.


A strange, rare summer visitor to southern England, the stone-curlew is a crow-sized bird with a large head, long yellow legs and relatively long wings and tail. Active at night, and its large yellow ... More...