Birds ‹‹ Go Back

Common Name : Indian Stone Curlew     -       Scientific Name : Burhinus indicus       -       Other Name : Golu Kirala (S), Indian Thick-knee (E)
Palugahathure
01/12/2014
Holambalagama Tank
08/08/2015
Holambalagama Tank
08/08/2015
Holambalagama Tank
08/08/2015
Holambalagama Tank
08/08/2015

This is a breeding resident found commonly through out the dry lowlands. It is also found in small numbers in the wet lowlands where there are open grasslands and fields. Other than in Sri Lanka this species is only found in India, Nepal and Pakistan. It is considered as conspecific with the Eurasian Thick-knee.

The conservation status of this species is regarded as “Least Concerned” (National Red List 2012).

This is a species protected under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance as amended by Act No. 22 of 2009.

The highest altitude at which I have observed this species is at Udawalawa National Park at around 300 meters. I have seen it at all the dry zone national parks such as Bundala, Yala, Minneriya, Kaudulla and Maduraoya. I have also seen it at Nawadankulama, Kalametiya, Anawilundawa, Kalpitiya, and at most dry zone tanks. In the north it is common in the Mannar Island, Vediththalthivu and the Jaffna peninsula. I have seen it even in the Analathivu Island and the Delft Island off Jaffna. In the wet zone I have seen and heard it at the Colombo Golf Club, Waters Edge at Battaramulla, Thalangama and at Belanwila Attidiya.

Once I observed a territorial display of this species at Holambalagama tank bordering Wilpattu National Park. While waiting for a heard of Elephants to arrive I noticed the continuous calls of the Stone Curlews. Having scanned the open fields I spotted three birds. Two appeared to follow a single bird, which had strayed in to their territory. The birds kept calling out continuously and at times two would fly up a short distance into the air and attack each other. When the intruder stops they would half open their wings and have their fanned out tails help horizontally while calling out. I was pleased to see this drab looking birds performing such an elaborate display.

They are usually heard in the night throughout the year at the Colombo Golf Club.

This species, though common in open areas, is seldom seen in Wilpattu due to their crepuscular behaviour. But are often heard at night. I have seen them at Kollankantta, Pomparippu, Hunuwilagama, and Holambalagama Tank.