Essex Biodiversity Project
Identification - the stone curlew is a large plover like bird from the wader family. It has large yellow eyes, a black tipped bill, distinct black wing bars, black speckled beige breast merging into the white belly. On top it is brown, beige speckled. In flight it has a distinct black and white wing pattern. Its call is similar to the curlew. (Mullarney et al 2001)
General ecology - Its main habitats are bare ground or sparsely vegetated ground such as heathland and cereal field margins. It breeds on bare ground in a scrape. It is a summer visitor from March to October. It has declined by 50% over the past 25 years. Essex has a very small declining population in NE Essex with the last breeding record in 1992. The main threats are loss of semi-natural grassland, grazing reduction by rabbits and livestock, farming changes, predation, disturbances and illegal egg collection.