Stone Curlew

Burhinus oedicnemus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Oedicnemus crepitans L.: Homeyer, 1977: 73; Sintenis, 1877: 67; Reiser, 1894: 174; Klain, 1909: 129; Oedicnemus crepitans Temm: Elwes, Buckley, 1878: 330; Alleon, 1886:416; Hristovich, 1890: 212; Jurkevich, 1904: 312; Dimitrov, 1909: 127; Jordans, 1940: 145; Oedicnemus crepitans Aut: Boetticher, 1927: 192; Oedicnemus oedicnemus L: Reiser, 1894: 192; Boetticher, 1927: 192.

Order Charadriiformes

Family Burhinidae

Conservation status: in Bulgaria: Vulnerable VU D1, BDA-II, III (I); International: BeC-II, BoC-II, ESC-Spec 3, BD-I.

General distribution. A Turkestan-Mediterranean species whose breeding area embraces Eurasia from Spain and England to Burma, Thailand and Kampuchia. It winters at places in Africa, the Pyrenean peninsula and Southern Asia. The breeding population in Eastern Europe (from the Adriatic Sea in the north to Denmark, Russia) is estimated at between 25 000 and 51 000 pairs [1].

Distribution and abundance in Bulgaria. A breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. In the past it was "... comparatively rare within the country, more frequent along the coast of the Black Sea ..." [2, 3, 4, 5], with total numbers of 30-60 breeding pairs [4]. At present, over 90 breeding habitats are registered with different breeding statistical significance and located mainly in the eastern half of the country, of which 50 with certain breeding and 160-360 breeding pairs [6]. Other estimates of the breeding population are: 150-200 [7], 130-250 [8] and 300-400 [9].

Habitats. Steppe and flat regions close to water basins: stony, sandy and clay biotopes, deserted fields, dunes, small islands in river beds and mouths, low mountainous slopes with thin shrubs [4].

Biology. It incubates singularly. The nest is on the ground in a small hole. It breeds 2-3 young ones that fly away in July. It feeds on large insects, snails, worms, lizards, small rodents.

Similar species. None.

Negative factors. Drying up and degradation of the natural wetlands with standing waters; destruction of the eggs by predatory mammals, wandering dogs and cattle.

Conservation measures taken. Protected according to the Biological Diversity Act. Included in the Red Data Book of Bulgaria (1985).

Conservation measures needed. Preparation of a programme for its preservation (an Action Plan according to art. 52 (2) of the Biological Diversity Act) and its enforcement. Updating of the National Plan for the preservation of wetlands in the country.

References. 1. Wetlands International, 2002; 2. Patev, 1950; 3. Petrov, 1985; 4. Nankinov et al., 1997; 5. Nankinov, Dalakchieva, 2001; 6. Iankov, in press; 7. Kostadinova, 1997; 8. Birdlife International, 2002; 9. Nankinov et al., 2004.

Authors: Tanyo Michev, Tseno Petrov

Stone Curlew (distribution map)

Stone Curlew (drawing)