Beach Stone-curlew

Esacus magnirostris

Is a large (56 cm), heavily-built wader with a thick-set bill and conspicuous bold black and white markings on the face and upper wings. The remainder of the plumage is grey-brown above and pale grey on the chest, becoming white on the belly. It inhabits coastal areas of Australia’s north, from around Exmouth WA to northern NSW, less commonly to the NSW-Vic border. Usually seen singly, in pairs or in small groups, it is most active during the cooler parts of the day (early morning and late afternoon), remaining motionless for extended periods during the hotter parts of the day. The Beach Stone-curlew is also active at night, and its loud ‘weer-loo’ call can be heard over a long distance. It feeds primarily on crabs and other crustaceans, which are stalked in a heron-like manner and seized with a quick dash. Breeding takes place during spring and summer, and only a single egg is laid in a shallow scrape on a beach, above the high water mark.