Eurasian stone-curlew

One of the bigger waders with a reptilian eye

Assaf Levy

The Eurasian Stone-curlew, also known as the Eurasian Thick-knee, is a remarkable species of wader that occupies a unique niche within its family. Despite its classification as a wader, this bird stands out with its large size and distinctive features, making it a fascinating subject for bird enthusiasts and researchers alike.

Measuring between 38 to 46 centimeters (15 to 18 inches) in length and boasting an impressive wingspan of 76 to 88 centimeters (30 to 35 inches), the Eurasian Stone-curlew commands attention with its substantial presence. Weighing between 290 to 535 grams (10.2 to 18.9 ounces), it is among the larger members of its family, making it an intriguing species to study and observe.

One of the most striking features of the Eurasian Stone-curlew is its prominent yellow eyes, which lend it a distinctively “reptilian” or “goggle-eyed” appearance. Coupled with its cryptic plumage and a sturdy yellow and black beak, this bird cuts an imposing figure in its natural habitat. Its black and white wing patterns further enhance its visual appeal, particularly when observed in flight.

The range of the Eurasian Stone-curlew spans across Europe, North Africa, and Southwest Asia, where it inhabits a variety of habitats ranging from dry open areas to more temperate regions. While it is primarily a summer migrant in the European and Asian parts of its range, spending the winter months in Africa, it is known to exhibit a degree of adaptability to different environmental conditions.

Despite its classification as a wader, the Eurasian Stone-curlew displays a preference for habitats with some bare ground, distinguishing it from other members of its family that typically favor wetter environments. This unique habitat preference underscores the species’ adaptability and ability to thrive in diverse landscapes.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Afghanistan
2018
Albania
2018
Breeding
Algeria
2018
Armenia
2018
Breeding
Austria
2018
Breeding
Azerbaijan
2018
Breeding
Belarus
2018
Breeding
Belgium
2018
Vagrant
Bosnia And Herz.
2018
Breeding
Bulgaria
2018
China
2018
Breeding
Croatia
2018
Breeding
Cyprus
2018
Czechia
2018
Breeding
DR Congo (Kinshasa)
2018
Vagrant
Denmark
2018
Vagrant
Djibouti
2018
Non-Breeding
Egypt
2018
Eritrea
2018
Non-Breeding
Estonia
2018
Vagrant
Ethiopia
2018
Non-Breeding
Finland
2018
Vagrant
France
2018
Breeding
Georgia
2018
Breeding
Germany
2018
Presence Uncertain
Gibraltar
2018
Greece
2018
Breeding
Hungary
2018
Breeding
Iceland
2018
Vagrant
Iran
2018
Iraq
2018
Ireland
2018
Vagrant
Israel
2018
Italy
2018
Jordan
2018
Kazakhstan
2018
Breeding
Kenya
2018
Non-Breeding
Kuwait
2018
Presence Uncertain, Origin Uncertain
Kyrgyzstan
2018
Breeding
Lebanon
2018
Libya
2018
Liechtenstein
2018
Vagrant
Lithuania
2018
Breeding
Luxembourg
2018
Vagrant
Mali
2018
Non-Breeding
Malta
2018
Presence Uncertain, Origin Uncertain
Mauritania
2018
Non-Breeding
Moldova
2018
Breeding
Montenegro
2018
Breeding
Morocco
2018
Netherlands
2018
Vagrant
Niger
2018
Non-Breeding
Nigeria
2018
Vagrant
North Macedonia
2018
Breeding
Norway
2018
Vagrant
Oman
2018
Pakistan
2018
Poland
2018
Breeding
Portugal
2018
Qatar
2018
Non-Breeding
Romania
2018
Breeding
Russia
2018
Breeding: European Russia
Russia
2018
Vagrant: Central Asian Russia
Saudi Arabia
2018
Senegal
2018
Non-Breeding
Serbia
2018
Breeding
Sierra Leone
2018
Vagrant
Slovakia
2018
Breeding
Slovenia
0
Official estimate
EX
2018
Extinct locally
Somalia
2018
Non-Breeding
Spain
2018
Sudan
2018
Sweden
2018
Vagrant
Switzerland
2018
Presence Uncertain, Origin Uncertain
Syria
2018
Tajikistan
2018
Breeding
Tunisia
2018
Turkey
2018
Breeding
Turkmenistan
2018
Breeding
UAE
2018
Uganda
2018
Non-Breeding
Ukraine
2018
Breeding
United Kingdom
2018
Breeding
Uzbekistan
2018
Breeding
Yemen
2018

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd / Flock

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No