The Stone Curlew is a resident breeding species which is quite abundant in dry arable areas. It can also be seen at some of the wetland sites and is often sighted at both The Albufera Reserve and the S’Albufureta Natural Park, amongst the lagoons. A good place to see them breeding inland is Es Blanquer, situated just north of the town of Maria De la Salut, which is typically dry arable farmland. This area is also good for Short Toed and Thekla Larks. This bird is often heard calling either early in the evening or early in the mornings and the Boquer is also a great site in the fields at the entrance.
Stone Curlew, Eurasian thick-knee, or Eurasian stone-curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus) is a northern species of the Burhinidae (stone-curlew) bird family. It is a fairly large wader though is mid-sized by the standards of its family. Length ranges from 38 to 46 cm (15 to 18 in), wingspan from 76 to 88 cm (30 to 35 in) and weight from 290 to 535 g (10.2 to 18.9 oz) with a strong yellow and black beak, large yellow eyes (which give it a “reptilian”, or “goggle-eyed” appearance) and cryptic plumage. The bird is striking in flight, with black and white wing markings. Despite being classed as a wader, this species prefers dry open habitats with some bare ground. It is largely nocturnal, particularly when singing its loud wailing songs, which are reminiscent of that of curlews. Food consists of insects and other small invertebrates and occasionally small reptiles, frogs and rodents. It lays 2-3 eggs in a narrow scrape in the ground. The stone curlew occurs throughout Europe, North Africa and southwestern Asia. It is a summer migrant in the more temperate European and Asian parts of its range, wintering in Africa.
There are eight species of Burhinus Thick-knees, four of which are monotypic and four polytypic (having sub-species). The Senegal Thick-knee is monotypic although it is very similar to the Water Thick-knee and the Eurasian Thick-knee (also known within Europe as the Stone Curlew). Burhinus Thick-knees should not be confused with Esacus Thick-knees which are of the same family, Burhinidae, but a separate genus.
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