Bush Stone-curlew

Burhinus grallarius


Victoria: Endangered
Locally: Extinct in the wild

The bush stone-curlew is also known as the bush thick-knee. It is a  ground-dwelling, mainly nocturnal bird that is at risk to predation by foxes and cats.

The colouring of the curlew allows it to camouflage well in its environment. When threatened, the curlew will lay motionless, instead of fleeing.

Once quite common, the bush stone-curlew is now listed as endangered in Victoria and New South Wales and is extinct locally. Predation by feral animals such as foxes and cats as well as stock trampling nesting sites are major threats to their numbers seeing a significant decline in this species over the last 50 years.

Moonlit Sanctuary breeds bush stone-curlews for release programs based near Albury, New South Wales.


These birds forage at night and are omnivores, eating a wide variety of food including insects, molluscs, lizards, seeds and small mammals.


Instead of building a nest, bush-stone curlews lay 1-2 eggs in a shallow scrape or in a flat clearing on the ground. The eggs are very well camouflaged.

  • Location

    Dark green indicates where the Bush Stone-curlew can be found