Key information: The Stone Curlew prefers open areas with low vegetation or arid fields. It is mostly active during the night or at dusk (it is a nocturnal species) and relies on camouflage to stay unnoticed. Its wailing, eerie calls at dawn and dusk are a characteristic sound of the Cypriot countryside. It is a permanent resident, but there is also a migratory population that comes to Cyprus to winter. It has big yellow eyes so it can see well in the dark. It is very sensitive to disturbance.
Length: 38 – 45 cm
Habitat: Farmland, wetlands
When they can be seen: All year round
What they eat: Reptiles, invertebrates
In Cyprus: Can be seen at Paphos Plains, Xeros Valley, Mesaoria Plains and Larnaka Salt Lakes
Status: Resident breeder, passage migrant
Illustration by Paschalis Dougalis