Friday, March 17, 2017

I've Known People Like That

Why this bush stone-curlew is in love with its own reflection

This bush stone-curlew was spotted at QUT staring at it’s own reflection on Tuesday 

It is the case of the curious curlew, but it is not as odd as it seems.

A photograph of a bush stone-curlew caught up in its own reflection with a sign above it to let people know it was OK has gone viral.

"I'm a bush stone curlew," the sign read.

"I'm fine. I just like to stare at myself in the window."

The bird was photographed on Tuesday outside a building at Queensland University of Technology's Kelvin Grove campus by ABC News journalist Nick Wiggins and shared on Twitter.

It has since garnered thousands of shares, appearances on Reddit, its own series of memes, and even a Facebook page dedicated to it.

It has given us all a good laugh, but should we be concerned about this bird and its strange behaviour?

The answer is no, according to Wildcare Australia volunteer Caitlin Raynor, who wrote the sign to alleviate any concerns.

Ms Raynor spotted the curlew on her way into work at the university.

"It's definitely an odd but common behaviour for curlews to stare at their reflection," she said.

"They're primarily nocturnal birds, so they don't get to see their reflection at night. Staring at their reflection in windows is something these crazy birds just like to do.

"Since they don't demonstrate any aggressive behaviour when doing it I can only imagine they're just enthralled with the other bird they're seeing."

Ms Raynor said she has taken plenty of emergency calls throughout her time with Wildcare Australia about curlews.

"It's a relatively common phone call ... people say there's a bird standing in a corner and automatically you know it's going to be a curlew," she said.

"The people who ring the hotline think the bird should be running away, but their defence is not to run away ... just stand still and pretend people can't see them."

Ms Raynor said this particular curlew stuck around most of the day, but was gone by 4:00pm.
"I don't know where he came from... there's a bushy strip next to park in the building he may call home," she said.

Ms Raynor said the best thing to do when coming across a curlew caught up in its own looks was to leave it alone.

"We just leave it to be on its own and not disturb it, and just accept it's not an unusual behaviour," she said.

Thanks to Mary Anne Glazar for sending this.

1 comment:

forsythia said...

I am happy to learn what not to do if I find a curlew admiring his reflection.