Image by Kenski1970
While I was dropping my kids off at the local Foreign English School (we host overseas students) these birds were in their garden. Can't remember their name but they make a very scary sound at night.
Okay after a bit of internet searching Ifound out what these birds are: Curlew.
Here's what skynet has to say:
Bush Stone-curlews are nocturnal, cryptic and very well camouflaged. They are fairly large ground-feeding, ground-nesting woodland birds. Adult total length is 55-60cm, wingspan 80-105cm and weight 550-750 grams. They stand at around 50cm and when sitting down are about 30cm high. The dark grey bill is 5-6 cm long, thick and straight. Curlews have large yellow eyes, a long neck, camouflaged grey-brown upper parts with bold black streaks and cream under parts. Their long legs are thin and delicate with thick knees which they fold backwards when sitting. Their three front toes show traces of webbing but there is no hind toe.
Ecologically they behave like woodland birds while technically they are classified as waders and therefore possibly do not breed until they are 2-3 years old. There is no known way of sexing Bush Stone-curlews externally; so far a blood test is the safest and most reliable method.
Curlew presence is most often indicated by their wailing calls after dusk. They are most active from dusk to early morning and are particularly active on moonlit nights. Their eerie cry is persistent during mating and nesting time or when rain is about. Those wailing, screaming, haunting cries signify disturbance, danger, communication, territorial disputes or the loss of an offspring or partner.
Curlews can fight fiercely for various reasons, pinning the opponent to the ground, attacking it on the neck, the back, between the wings, or grabbing it by the tail and swirling it around. At times they kneecap their opponent.
They fly only when frightened or to gain better feeding ground or to socialise. They are shy and watchful, moving slowly with their heads outstretched. They run a short distance, stop, peer and flick their tails then repeat the process again and again. Their resting positions are standing on one leg, sitting or lying stretched flat.
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