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Bush Thick-knee

Famly Burhinidae, Burhinus grallarius


Large, ground-dwelling bird endemic to Australia. It is mainly nocturnal and specialises in hunting small grassland animals. During the day they stay in the shade of trees or amongst tall grass. If the predator moves close, the curlews will start hissing and if it is too close for comfort they will sprint away in their 'stealth' pose, head pointing forward, body motionless and long lanky legs moving quickly. When disturbed they either drop to the ground and lay low, or freeze and along with their cryptic plumage seem to merge into the environment. They also freeze in odd looking poses, example: as if it was dead with a broken neck. The babies are taught to drop and lay low, but sometimes this is not so cryptic when on the road. April 4, 2013 - The pair now have an egg (pic 3). Egg is larger than a chicken egg, approx 7cms long. Egg was quite well camouflaged. Parents were a distance away from the nest and I wouldn't have noticed had the father not started hissing and was hesitating at running towards me. I quickly took a pic and moved away. Nest is merely a shallow depression under the shade of a tree.


Grassland or open woodland on James Cook University Cairns campus


To see the chicks

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Andrea Lim
Andrea Lim 7 years ago

Thank you Maria!

Maria dB
Maria dB 7 years ago

Nice portraits!

Andrea Lim
Spotted by
Andrea Lim

Cairns, Queensland, Australia

Spotted on Feb 13, 2013
Submitted on Mar 13, 2013

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