beachthickknee

November 3, 2016 – Beach Thick-knee, Australian Stone Plover, Beach Curlew, Beach Stone-curlew, Large-billed Stone Plover, or Reef Thick-knee (Esacus giganteus)

These shorebirds are found from the Andaman Islands and Malay Peninsula, through the Philippines, New Guinea, and along the north and east coasts of Australia, as well as on many small islands in the southwestern Pacific. Their diet is made up mostly of crabs and other small crustaceans. Foraging along shorelines, they use their large bills to hammer the shells of their prey. Probably monogamous, females lay a single egg in nests built on sandbanks, ridges, islands, or other coastal areas. Both parents care for the chick until fledged. They are classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN due to heavy human use of their beach habitat and predation by introduced mammals, such as cats and rats.

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