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Bush Thick-knee

Burhinus grallarius

The Bush thick-knee is commonly called the Bush stone-curlew. It is most active at night and its presence is often revealed by loud, eerie, wailing calls. The bush thick-knee has become very rare in southern pastoral areas due to habitat disturbance and predation. It feeds on the ground and eats insects and other invertebrates.

Predator of the night
Bush Thick-knees emerge at dusk, walking or flying out to forage either on land or in water. These ground-dwelling birds are omnivores, feeding primarily on insects, molluscs, lizards and seeds.

Superior camouflage
During the day, Bush Thick-knees roost on the ground, relying on their cryptic plumage to protect them from predators. When disturbed, they freeze motionless, often in odd-looking postures.

On the decline
Bush Thick-knees are listed internationally as ‘Near Threatened’ due to widespread population decline in the southern parts of Australia. Habitat destruction, as well as fox and cat predation, are major threats to this species.