A happy event

Mr & Mrs Bush Stone-Curlew wish to announce the hatching of Baby Bush Stone-Curlew.

A couple of days ago, we were distressed to see that Mrs Stone-Curlew had abandoned her nest, and there was a lone egg left in it. Despite my grumping about the unholy racket the Stone-Curlew family made at night, I’ve been eagerly following progress, and was sad to think she’d been driven off the nest by a predator after her eggs.

No such thing. One egg has indeed failed to hatch, but the other has resulted in a fluffy chick which is extremely well guarded by its cautious and now very shy parents. They have retreated to the far end of the back yard and become agitated at any sign we might be looking at them. Thankfully, this has also resulted in an abatement of volume in their night time cries…

Bush Stone-Curlew eggI’m not going to bother them by attempting a photo of young Master or Miss Stone-Curlew, but I’m sure Mrs Stone-Curlew will not object to my photographing her remaining unviable egg, which is quite beautiful, as well as being, well, painfully large for the size of the unfortunate bird that laid it, being 4cm or 1.75in long.

There’s only one downside to the happy event. Now there will be three of them screaming at night…


37 thoughts on “A happy event

  1. Anlina says:

    Maybe they will move out now 🙂

  2. EllaDee says:

    Congrats to all. Backyard wildlife up close is a wonderful thing, if a little noisy at times… there’s hope for the world yet 🐣

  3. Will the dad fly at you if you go too close? We had a pair of dikkops in my old, the male used to venture out at night looking for food, and would put the fear of god into anyone accidentally getting too close!

    • katechiconi says:

      They’re insect eaters and nocturnal, so it’s a good job I don’t have any urgent evening business down that end of the back yard! The screaming is quite enough fear of god for me. They have big pointy beaks….

  4. nanacathy2 says:

    Oh bless them all. New life is so exciting!

  5. claire93 says:

    what exciting news ^^

    • katechiconi says:

      A bit of a relief, for sure. Now I can use the clothes line again, and the Husband can mow the lawn, secure in the knowledge that we’ve helped to preserve a slightly endangered bird species 🙂 .

  6. lucyannluna says:

    That egg is so pretty, sadly they are keeping everyone awake at night.

  7. Emma says:

    Stone curlews are so cute 😊 I’m still glad we don’t have any in our yard though, they do make soooo much noise 😐

  8. Debbierose says:

    Congrats on the addition to your backyard

  9. anne54 says:

    Is that pretty egg really laid straight onto the ground? Not the safest place for eggs. It must be lovely being able to watch the progress. I only get to watch Bob the Pigeon sit on the tree branch or the clothes line!

  10. At first glance I thought it was a rock you made up a story about. Any nests in our yard are high in the trees.
    Thank you for the wonderful pictures.

  11. Congratulations to them! Do they return to the same nest year after year? (Hope not!)

  12. judybushey43 says:

    We had a crow nesting near our place this spring and they made a terrible racket so my sympathy goes out to you. The egg is very pretty though!

    • katechiconi says:

      It is, isn’t it? I have an eggbox in our overflow fridge in which I’m collecting abandoned eggs. I have some from the Masked Plover earlier this year, and once the Stone-Curlews have raised their baby and moved on, I shall collect the other egg too. I can’t bear to leave it to get smashed by some predator…

  13. Magpie Sue says:

    I was wondering whether they will be returning next nesting season because you’ve provided them with such a safe space to use. There’s both pros and cons to their return!

  14. ladyredspecs says:

    Congrats on the new hatchling. Does it nag it’s parents raucously all night for food? We had a magpie family in our yard once. I remember advising the mother to leave home until the kid stopped nagging

  15. dayphoto says:

    I guess that is better than four. The egg is beautiful!


    • katechiconi says:

      Oh, definitely. The egg is pretty, isn’t it, about the size of a bantam egg. I felt sorry for Mrs Stone-Curlew, who is a slender thing, having to squeeze that out… Guess that’s why there’s only ever 2 eggs in a clutch!

  16. Lynda says:

    Kate, I don’t know about these curlews, but in my experience, a successful nesting usually means that the parents and offspring will be back next season to do it all over again. 😉

    I just watched a video of a nesting pair of these stone curlew. The male reminded me of Fredrik when Polly is nesting! Very aggressive and yes very noisy! They remind me a bit of our southwest roadrunner in size and movement.

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