Australia Photo ~

Bush Stone Curlews, Queensland, Australia

Bush Stone Curlews

If you hear a mournful wailing sound in the night, these are the birds  responsible for the eerie call.

Curlews are nocturnal ground feeding birds, which during the day shelter where their plummage will best camouflage them.

This family of birds have taken to resting in the grass just outside our office gate, on the South Moreton Bay Islands.

In some areas of Australia they have become extinct, as urbanization has taken over their feeding ground.

Various mythological tales are associated with their night cry ~

Have you heard it?


18 thoughts on “Curlews

  1. Yes, we have heard it! The first time was on Magnetic Island and we had no idea what it was. We had arrived late to our accommodation and so there was no time to explore or read about the local aspects of the place. Being southerners we were quite unaware of these birds, let-alone the sound these night creatures make. It’s quite spooky!

    • Hearing it for the first time I think it is spooky –
      I’ve heard of various mythical tales associating it to the sound of passed away wailing children – which is very comforting 😉

  2. They are regular visitors here in the Samford Valley (to the north-west of Brisbane).
    While we’ve grown quite used to their call, visitors are often startled – sometimes I’ve thought they’ve considered making a rapid departure.
    I so love the variety of birdlife here.

    • Funny how unidentified noises in the night give people the heeby-jeebs LOL
      I’m with you ~
      We’re spoilt with the bird variety in SE Queensland 🙂

  3. Sadly, yes. They have no fear of caravan parks or caravan park dwellers – maybe they should!! We’ve been awoken so many times in northern caravan parks, we call them ‘shrieking f***ers’!!

    Did you know they were often tamed as pets in the early days??

    • Hi Red nomad,

      Do you have a source of information about curlews being tamed as pets? I’m doing some historical,research on this, and I would like to find out more.

      • @Linda – They are remarkably adaptable! We’ve seen them during the day ‘foraging’ for food around the cafes on Magnetic Island!!
        @Scott – You will find a story of ‘Curly’ the pet Curlew in “Birds of Paradox’, edited by Jack Pollard (pub Landsdowne Press 1967). I have a feeling I’ve read/heard an anecdotal account of this being common. If I recall/find the reference, I shall make another comment! Hope this helps!!
        Red Nomad OZ recently posted..TOP Aussie Birding Spot #1 – Somewhere in the Adelaide Hills …My Profile

    • Think you may look pretty mournful if you’d been up all night hunting –
      And then have to humour cafe visitors – who are sitting in your patch! 😉

      PS Where’s your Gravatar gone?

    • They’re quite ‘tame’ during the day while they’re trying to rest –
      I was very close –
      Photo wasn’t taken with one of those paparazzi lenses 🙂

  4. if anyone would like to get a close up photo in far north QLD we have a curlew who has come to live with us just walked straight in her family live in the front paddock we also have a baby plouva and a teenage butcher bird we have been swamped with native birds this year Im worried for the rest to get thru the winter!!!!!

    • Isn’t it great having nature literally in your backyard!
      I love our Aussie bird life – So varied in song and flight; and so wonderful that they’re prepared to share some of their lives with ours 🙂

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