The Bush Stone-curlew also commonly referred to as the Bush Thick-knee is a large slim build, ground dwelling bird. Commonly found throughout Australia. This unusual bird can be found as far south as Victoria, as far north as Arnhem land and Kakadu in the Northern Territory, right over to Western Australia and all along the Eastern seaboard of Queensland and NSW. It's striking appearance of large yellow eyes on a small head and featuring long thin legs make it quite easy to distinguish from other species. It is renowned for its high pitch eerie wailing noise it vocalises at night. Unlike any other sound you might hear from a bird, this screeching crescendo is its contact call. During the day Curlews are often inactive, standing quietly in the shade with their eyes half closed, or squatting down on the ground, where their beautiful plumage make it remarkably difficult to see amongst the leaf litter and sticks. They are flighty but smart birds. They defend their nests from potential predators by distracting the intruder and drawing them away from the nests on the ground. The adult male bird is usually close by adding an extra level of security to would be predators. If provoked or threatened the curlew will give chase or stand and stare at its intruder.
This beautiful bird was photographed in the comfortable surroundings of a property in Port Douglas. It was sitting low on the ground undetectable until it moved and perfectly camouflaged with its surroundings. Approaching the bird cautiously I set up my tripod and waited. It was only after a few moments and much fidgeting with my telephoto lens that I was confronted on the opposite side by a second curlew I hadn't even seen. This I assume was the male curlew protecting his female and taking exception to me. I swung my camera round and was locked in a staring match with this intimidating bird. This image is the result of that confrontation and one I was thrilled at. Not often do you get down to eye level with another bird at such close quarters and have the opportunity to snap it when it is motionless. The perfect wildlife subject to date.
Location - Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia
Aspect Shown - Square
Product Code - FP17197S
Camera Specifications: Canon EOS 7D Mark II, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, Focal Length: 300mm, ISO 1250, MM: Pattern, Exp: 1/400@f/5.6