Burhinus oedicnemus – Eurasian Stone-curlew

L'Oedicnème criard/ Photo DR
L’Oedicnème criard/ Photo DR

I have been hearing a mysterious sound for a few months now without ever being able to sight it, let alone find out what was making the noise.

Lo and behold a chance meeting with a knowledgeable ornitholigist has shed some light on this and I actually caught sight of a pair this morning.

The cry is very much like that of a curlew, heard on the shores of estuaries, which is quite fitting as it is in fact the Eurasian Stone Curlew.

Locally it is called the “flutist” or “the watcher of the fields” or  “Å’dicnème criard” in French – the cry can be heard for over a kilometer especially as dusk falls.

The Eurasian Stone Curlew’s habitat is mainly of dry scrub land where it eats insects, lizards, snails and small snakes but it has adapted to warm areas of cereal farming.

The chicks are able to walk away from the nest within a few hours of hatching, which helps during harvest time as they have time to escape tractors and machinery.

Mystery solved – The European Stone Curlew
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