Stone curlew by Lawrie Webb 1/10
Stone curlew in flight by Andy Thompson 2/10
Stone curlew by Elizabeth Dack 3/10
Stone curlew, courtship display by Gary Noakes 4/10
Stone curlew by Elizabeth Dack 5/10
Pair of stone curlew by Lawrie Webb 6/10
Stone curlew by Elizabeth Dack 7/10
Stone curlew by Lawrie Webb 8/10
Stone curlew by Andy Thompson 9/10
Stone curlew by Lawrie Webb 10/10

Stone Curlew Burhinus oedicnemus

The strange, rare, stone curlew is a very distinctive looking bird, well known for its long yellow legs and round yellow eyes which are apt for nocturnal foraging. Being a summer visitor, you can only spot this bird between March and October – the best place to catch one is at NWT Weeting Heath.

Conservation status

The stone curlew is an  Amber Status species which means it has an unfavourable conservation status in Europe.. Numbers have risen over the past 15 years due to partnerships being created between wildlife conservation bodies and landowners to identify and protect breeding sites and this work will continue as part of the Brecks Living Landscape Project. The stone curlew is also afforded special protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the EU Birds Directive. Areas where stone curlews are found are designated as Environmentally Sensitive Areas. A key conservation management system at the NWT Weeting Heath reserve is maintaining a healthy population of rabbits. These grazers keep vegetation shorter than 2cm to provide a suitable habitat for nesting stone curlews.

Related questions & advice

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Did you know?

The stone curlew has many common names peculiar to Norfolk, including the Norfolk Plover, Thick knee and the Wailing Heath Chicken.
Because of bird ringing we know that stone curlews can be long-lived with one record relating to a bird 16 years old.

How to recognise
Where to see
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