ON THE ROAD — While the Helmeted Honey-Eaters and other birds occupy the upper storey habitat in a large freeflight enclosure at Healesville Sanctuary, a family of Bush Stone-curlews (Burhinus grallarius) share the terrestrial zone with a few Black-breasted Button Quail (Turnix melanogaster). In Darwin we are used to seeing the Bush Stone-curlew around the streets and gardens but in southern Australia populations are in serious decline where Pizzey and Knight describe its status as “rare to wholly extinct in settled parts of south-east Australia”. With big eyes the Bush Stone-curlew is well equipped for night hunting when it takes insects, lizards and occasionally small mammals like mice. The Black-breasted Button Quail is a species listed as vulnerable in the wild under the Commonwealth’s Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

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