Southern Stone Curlew
The Southern Stone Curlew
(also known as the Bush Thick knee) are a fascinating bird if you don’t
mind their mournful wailing during the night (especially if disturbed).
It can be quite spooky on a still moonlit night but a beautiful sound
These birds need a large
aviary with plenty of length and some cover so they can “hide”. A
large planted aviary is usually the best although I have known birds
that have lived quite happily in quite small aviaries. They
become accustomed to their
surroundings if introduced to an enclosure when young and in general do
not like to be moved and it can take some time for them to settle down
into a new environment. Having said that I have moved birds
on a number of occasions from one place to another without any problems
and all have settled in well in a short space of time.
To the pet mince add a quantity of Wombaroo Insectivore Rearing Mix. Add enough until the minced meat gains a crumbly consistency. This can be kept refrigerated for two or three days. Feed once a day in the evening but only enough to satisfy the birds for that night. You will need to experiment with quantities and you may find that they may eat more at some times and less at others. DO NOT overfeed – this food source will go off very rapidly.
Mealworms are important at breeding times and
the occasional dead mouse will be appreciated. They will sometimes
catch mice within the confines of the aviary if they are quick enough,
although the mice usually win. Never put Curlews in an aviary with
finches or they also will be a light snack if the Curlews can catch them
(unless, of course, if you need a population control (e.g. as in a Zebra
Fresh water should be available at all times.
*Note: Since this was first written we have added Passwell Yellow Factor Finch Handraising Food to the mix as well as a few soaked (in water) Parrot pellets
If you wish to keep these birds in South Australia you will need a permit from the Department for Environment and Heritage (Permit application forms can be found here. This link will open in a new browser window).
In other states you will need to contact your local wildlife authority for information.