Urban Bush Thickknees

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Urban Bush Thickknees
From: L&L Knight <>
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2008 20:44:24 +1000
It's main name is Burhinus magnirostris.

The fiddling with common names may have something to do with the personality types of birders who form committees.

As to why such a nice bird that is neither a curlew nor has any particular affinity with stones is lumbered with the name "Bush Stone- Curlew", the story probably goes like this:

The first Burhinus to be given an English name lived in arid environments and had a call like a Eurasian Curlew, so it was called a Stone-Curlew. Being unimaginative types, the ornithologists applied the appellation "stone-curlew" to related birds.

A better question is why the Beach and Great Thick-knees were also lumbered with the name stone-curlew when they belong to a different genus - Esacus. While you can see that B. magnirostris looks like B. oedicnemus, E. magnirostris and E. recurvirostris are quite different.

Regards, Laurie

On 17/04/2008, at 7:59 PM, Peter Shute wrote:
Interesting about Cayley calling it Stone-curlew in 1946. My 1959 edition calls it Bush Curlew, or Stone Plover, Weeloo or Willaroo. I can understand them changing the main name with the current fashion, but why fiddle with the alternative names?

Peter Shute

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