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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 9:20 EDT

Stone Curlew

The Stone Curlew or Eurasian Stone-curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus) is a species of bird that occurs throughout Europe, north Africa and southwestern Asia. In summer, it is found in the more temperate European and Asian regions, and in winter it migrates south into Africa. In Egypt, the melodic song of the Stone Curlew is often heard at night, although it is rarely seen. Its song is featured in poetry, songs, and movies, such as Song of the Stone Curlew.

It is a wading bird with a strong yellow and black beak. It has yellow eyes which give it a reptilian appearance. Its plumage is cryptic (suited for camouflage). The scientific name refers to the prominent joints in the long yellow/greenish legs. In flight it is unmistakable, with black and white wing markings. Despite being classed as a wader, this bird prefers dry open habitats with some bare ground. It is mainly nocturnal, especially when singing its melodious songs.

The diet of the Stone Curlew consists of insects and other small invertebrates. It will also eat lizards. The female lays 2-3 eggs in a narrow scrape in the ground.

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Stone Curlew