Saturday, April 21, 2007

Stone Curlews again

Today, thanks to a sharp-eyed birder, I was able to enjoy the sight of a pair of Stone Curlews in a field where you might not expect them. A very rare record for my part of the world indeed. You will recall from my earlier posting that they are in the Burhinus genus, and are popularly known as "Thick-knees" because, well, because they have thick knees. According to Sibley and Monroe, compilers of the most recent checklist of birds of the world, there are nine specie in the genus, und zwar:
Burhinus oedicnemus Stone-curlew (Eurasian Thick-knee)
Burhinus senegalensis Senegal Thick-knee
Burhinus vermiculatus Water Thick-knee
Burhinus capensis Spotted Thick-knee
Burhinus bistriatus Double-striped Thick-knee
Burhinus superciliaris Peruvian Thick-knee
Burhinus grallarius Bush Thick-knee
Burhinus recurvirostris Great Thick-knee
Burhinus giganteus Beach Thick-knee
Not many people in Huntingdon know that (Neither did I till I checked S and M)
What I love, apart from the bird itself, is that we continue to call it Stone Curlew ( a name that describes its preference for stony ground and its wonderful Curlew-like call), despite the efforts of the BOUffoons to reduce it to the utterly banal "Eurasian Thick-knee". Some things are worth grumping for, don't you think?

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