Beach stone-curlew | Redland City Council

Beach stone curlew Esacus magnirostris

Scientific names: esacus magnirostris, esacus neglectus, esacus giganteus

Other Names: Beach Thick-knee


  • Queensland: Vulnerable (NCA 1992)

What does it look like?

The beach stone-curlew is a large, thick-set grey-brown shorebird. The key identifying features of this species are a large bill, black-and-white head and brown and white stripes on the forewing.

Where are they found?

Curlews are often seen in pairs or alone with nests located in the tree shadows and along the landward edge of the beach. If curlews are disturbed, they may abandon the nest and re-lay eggs elsewhere.

The curlew lives along the coast and on offshore islands. Being an exclusively coastal bird, curlews can be found in a variety of habitats ranging from sandy and vegetation-covered to rocky beaches, with the exception of large mangrove or cliff stretches.

The beach stone-curlew mainly feeds on crabs, insects and molluscs. These birds actively forage at night, early mornings and late afternoons.

What is threatening them?

  • Coastal development
  • Predation by invasive species
  • Disturbances from humans and animals.


The beach stone-curlew is protected under the Nature Conservation Act 1992. It is an offence to damage or interfere with the beach stone-curlew in any other way than accepted by the Act.

Redland City Council manages environmental pests throughout the Redlands to minimise their impact on native ecosystems and birds such as the beach stone-curlew.

Did you know...?

This bird is easily distinguished from all other waders by its large size, massive bill with yellow patches at the base and easily visible black and white pattern on the head.

During breeding season, beach stone-curlews emanate a wailing territorial call at night which is higher in pitch and harsher than that of the bush stone-curlew

How you can help

Control your domestic dogs and cats which creates areas safe for curlew breeding (desexing domestic animals can help control the feral population) and stay clear of the nesting sites.

Report your sighting

If you have seen or suspect you have seen a beach stone-curlew, please report it to Atlas of Living Australia.