LOOK CAREFULLY: These two bush curlews feel right at home in the Noosa Civic gardens.
LOOK CAREFULLY: These two bush curlews feel right at home in the Noosa Civic gardens. Jane Simpson

Noosa Civic reveals a bush surprise

ON A walk one afternoon along a footpath that skirted the car parking area at Noosa Civic, I came to an abrupt halt when taking my neighbour's dog for a walk.

He had suddenly stopped his usual sniffing and took an "alert” pose, with head erect and eyes looking unflinchingly into the adjacent bushland.

I could see nothing out of the ordinary, however the dog's super sensitive nose could detect something of immense interest.

The longer I peered into the thick of the trees and shrubs and focused my eye line on where he was looking, they suddenly came into focus - two beautiful bush stone curlews (Burhinus magnirostris) - the 'stone' in the name being very apt, as they both were as still as upright sentinels in the landscape.

I had visited Noosa Civic on innumerable occasions, never paying attention to the bushland that surrounds the complex.

Who would have thought that these amazing birds could live so close to the hubbub of our biggest local shopping centre?

The bush stone curlew is found in most parts of Australia, going largely unnoticed by the ebb and flow of our urbanised civilisation.

They blend in so well due to their camouflage of colour and frozen statue like appearance whenever they feel danger threaten, that they are rarely seen by the casual observer.

They are most easily identified not by sight, but by their mournful wailing "ker-loo” at night, which is unmistakable and could easily give shivers up the spine to the uninitiated.

Their large eyes are a sign of their nocturnal habits.

A small clearing on bare ground serves as a nest and if approached while sitting on the eggs, the parent will stretch out flat, relying on its colouration to conceal it.

The breeding season is August to January.