Meet the Curlews, Northern Queensland, Australia

 

Intriguing appearance  @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Intriguing appearance @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

There is something intriguing about Bush Stone Curlews. Maybe it’s just their facial composition?

Perfect camouflage @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Perfect camouflage @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Observing curlews during the day is not very common, certainly not in suburbia. This may be due to the loss of habitat as well.

Blending in @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Blending in @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

As their name suggests, Bush Stone Curlews aren’t meant to be seen at daylight. Camouflage is their defence mechanism.

Don’t move @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Don’t move @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Their feather gown symbols the same colouring and pattern to surrounding grass and scrubs.

Blending in @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Blending in @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

When possible danger is detected, curlews don’t move.

Curlew statue @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Curlew statue @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Motionless, they look rather cool in their statue-like state.

A blink of the eye @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

A blink of the eye @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Not a blink of an eye.

Curlew family @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Curlew family @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Parents mate for life and raise up to two chicks.

Roaming the open grassland @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Roaming the open grassland @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

The curlew family prefers to stay in thicker bushland while the chicks are still very small. They are extremely hard to detect then. Once old enough, the open grasslands are always worth a visit.

Almost grown curlew chick @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Almost grown curlew chick @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

If the chicks survive the challenging Australian predators, they hang around with their parents until they reproduce.

Gown pattern @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Gown pattern @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Older birds, even though their own, could be a danger to the young chicks and will be encouraged to leave.

A sad look @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

A sad look @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Some older chicks don’t seem to understand why they are all over sudden shushed off.

Dad keeping older chick apart @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Dad keeping older chick apart @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

But dad is having none of it.

Holding the line @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Holding the line @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

He puts himself in line with his partner and keeps a good eye out on the perpetrator.

Youngster is confused @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Youngster is confused @ Babinda Boulders, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

While the youngster watches his dad. This is quite an amusing spectacle.

Dusk appearance @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Dusk appearance @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Just as entertaining to watch are curlews at nighttime. If you aren’t too busy to gaze at the stars, whilst listening to crashing waves. In rural or more congested areas, curlews appear at dusk. There is too much traffic during the day. Their distinctive call is heard from a long way away.

Unusual guest @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Unusual guest @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Whilst enjoying nature under the stars one evening, visitors dropped by. This actually happened most nights in northern Queensland.

Dinner guest @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Dinner guest @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Out of nowhere, this curious bird showed up.

Picking up the crumbs @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Picking up the crumbs @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

He picked up a few bread crumbs and disappeared again.

Is it the same curlew? @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Is it the same curlew? @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

This scenario was repeated a few times.

Who’s next? @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Who’s next? @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

I didn’t know if the same bird returned over and over again, or if the whole family shuffled one by one.

The same bird? @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

The same bird? @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

The rest of the family cheered not from afar. This scheme went on for a little while.

Shadow parody @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Shadow parody @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

If the bird’s activities alone aren’t amusing enough, try to concentrate on its shadow only. It really is a shadow parody.

Shadow is turning @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Shadow is turning @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

How is this for a pose?

Shadow entertainment  @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Shadow entertainment @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

I captured a few good shadow boxers.

Double trouble @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Double trouble @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Then, there were two. Together, they were synced in stealth mode.

Not happy? @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Not happy? @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

The black extension to the beak doesn’t make him look any happier.

The second wave @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

The second wave @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Two more curlews came from behind and used the seating area as cover. They weren’t too shy either.

Surrounded by curlews @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Surrounded by curlews @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Suddenly, I was surrounded by this curlew mob.
They communicate with each other, letting the others know exactly where they are.

The stage is set @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

The stage is set @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

But the best part of the show comes at the end.

Let the show begin @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Let the show begin @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

An opera Ballet.

An emphatic discussion @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

An emphatic discussion @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Either that or an emphatic report to the youngsters.

Yeah-but @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Yeah-but @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Military-style. A classic ‘yeah-but’ moment. What an entertaining evening!

Night watchman @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Night watchman @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

 I like the idea of these night watchmen prowling the neighbourhood around me. They pick up a fair amount of creepy crawlers, which may have been aiming for your tent.

Out for a good cause @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

Out for a good cause @ Townsville, Northern Tropical Queensland, Australia

And it seems that curlews don’t mind us humans either. Just not in large quantities. But who can?

2 thoughts on “Meet the Curlews, Northern Queensland, Australia

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