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Australian Endangered Birds

Page 2


Australian Endangered Birds

Below you will find information on some of the

Australian Endangerd Birds, the Bush Stone Curlew,

and the Square Tailed Kite.



Bush Stone Curlew


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The bush stone-curlew is a large bird which stands on long, gangly legs. It is also called the bush thick knee because of its large swollen knees. The shy ground dwelling bird was found across much of Australia in lowland open woodland. Now it is one of Australia's Endangered Birds.

They like areas that have lots of fallen branches and leaf litter on the ground for foraging, shelter and camouflage.

The birds rely on camouflage to remain hidden by day, and feed at night. They are most active on moonlit nights and are more often heard than seen. You may have heard their eerie, wailing "weer-lo" call at night.


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In the photo above there are two adults and two chicks, all extremely well camouflaged.


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In the above photo we made the birds move a little, and you can just see them amongst the leaves.


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In the above photo the adult bird is protecting its chick from the cameraman, whilst chick number two is still well hidden or camouflaged lying flat on the ground above the red number 1.


Some Facts on the Bush Stone Curlew.

Also called the bush thick knee or Willaroo.

Scientific name is Burhinus grallarius.

The bird is now one of Australia's Endangered Birds.

Its height is around 60cm. Bigger than a lapwing, smaller than an ibis.

It makes a distinctive wailing "weer-lo" call, mainly at night.

It eats large insects, spiders, snails, small reptiles, small mammals, frogs, small fruits and seeds by poking around amongst the leaf litter and under logs.

Generally reluctant to fly and spends most of its time on the ground.

Lives up to 30 years and generally remains in the same territory with its mate.

A breeding pair of birds will spend most of their time within a territory of about 25ha.

Lay two eggs at a time, in a simple scrape in the ground.

Chicks often killed by foxes, dogs and cats.

When birds aren't breeding they will forage over a larger area of several hundred hectares.

Lives in lowland, grassy woodland areas and riparian forests with few or no shrubs.

These days they are mostly found on private land.


The National Parks and Wildlife Service have a Bush Stone Curlew Survey,

phone 1300 361 967 or E-mail

They also have a program on how you can help this Australian Endangered Bird.



The Bush Stone Curlew's habit of laying its eggs in a scrape on the ground means the chances of successfully raising a chick is not good.

Eggs, chicks and young birds are often taken by foxes.

Grazing animals trample the eggs. Removal by farmers of timber from under the trees makes areas of habitat unsuitable.

Weeds invade areas of habitat making it unsuitable for the Bush Stone Curlew which needs sparse low grasses.

Existing habitat has become fragmented and divided into smaller and smaller areas, many of which are now too small and too isolated to provide adequate resources for a breeding pair of Bush Stone Curlews.


Where Can You See These

Australian Endangered Birds?


This web site has been set up for the Chiltern Birdwatchers.

Near Chiltern, in Albury and in Rutherglen, there are two animal sanctuaries.

North of Albury is the Ettamogah Wildlife Sanctuary, which has the breeding pair of Bush Stone Curlews that are photographed above.

To the west of Chiltern is the wine making town of Rutherglen. Behind one of these wineries, Bullers, you will find Buller's Bird Park, which has an extensive array of birds, including three endangered species, the Bush Stone Curlew, the Scarlet Chested Parrot, and the Turquoise Parrot.


Ettamogah Sanctuary Bullers Bird Park





Square Tailed Kite


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Another Australian Endangerd Bird is the Square Tailed Kite.

The Square Tailed Kite inhabits riverine forests and well wooded areas near open country and feeds on a wide variety of insects and small animals, especially bird nestlings.

It characteristically soars and glides just above the tree tops with its wings held in a V.

White spots are exhibited under its wings in flight. Seasonal movements and possibly nomadic, and breeds from August to November, with bulky loose nests in high trees.



Where Can You See These

Australian Endangered Birds?

In Spring to Autumn only, mainly on the southern side of the Chiltern Forest, and in the Mt Pilot area.



Chiltern Birdwatching  Trails

Page 1   Tour 1     Tour 2   Tour 3  
Tour 4  Notes Listing 1 Listing 2





Australian Endangered Birds

Regent Honeyeater Scarlet Chested Parrot
Bush Stone Curlew Square Tailed Kite
Swift Parrot Turquoise Parrot




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