Stone curlews are mainly nocturnal and specialise in hunting small grassland animals: frogs, spiders, insects, lizards and small mammals are all taken, mostly gleaned or probed from soft soil or rotting wood; also a few seeds or tubers, particularly in drought years. Birds usually forage individually or in pairs over a large home range, particularly on moonlit nights.
During the day, bush stone-curlews tend to remain inactive, sheltering amongst tall grass or low shrubs and relying on their cryptic plumage to protect them from predators. When disturbed, they freeze motionless, often in odd-looking postures.
The bush Stone-curlew is probably heard more than it is seen. Its call sounds like a wail or a scream in the night. When scared, it screeches – a sound similar to the screech of a possum. When threatened (presumably in the presence of a nest), they may raise their wings wide and high in an impressive threat posture and emit a loud, hoarse hissing noise.
The bush stone-curlew has a broad habitat preference, it can be found in open forest, eucalyptus woodland, rainforest edges, grassy plains, arid scrubland and along inland watercourses. It is a common species in the cities of Brisbane, Cairns & Townsville however is not found in urban areas in the south of its range. It is still abundant in the tropical and sub-tropical north, however has become very rare in the less fertile south where it was once common.
Here at BIG4 Atherton Woodlands Tourist Park we are very lucky to have daily sightings of the Curlews in the gardens. We currently have mum & dad sitting on two eggs on a powered site at the rear of the Park.
They are very protective of their family to be and are very cute (and interesting) to watch.
We will keep you posted as to their progress - you might like to name one!