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Conservation status: Amber

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 eyes enable it to locate food when it is dark. It is not related to curlews and gets its name from its curlew-like call.



Latin name

Burhinus oedicnemus


Stone-curlews (Burhinidae)

Where to see them

It is a bird of dry, open places with bare, stony ground or very short vegetation. Its UK strongolds are in Wiltshire, around Salisbury Plain, and the Brecks, Norfolk. They are also sometimes visible from special viewing areas at our Minsmere reserve on the Suffolk Coast and Winterbourne Downs reserve in Wiltshire. The best place to see them is at Weeting Heath in Norfolk, where the Norfolk Wildlife Trust has established visitor and viewing facilities.

When to see them

It arrives in March and departs in October.

What they eat

Worms and insects


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-350 pairs--