Thai National Parks

Species of Thailand

Beach thick-knee

Esacus magnirostris

Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot, 1818

In Thai: นกกระแตผีชายหาด

The beach stone-curlew (Esacus magnirostris) also known as beach thick-knee is a large, ground-dwelling bird that occurs in Australasia, the islands of South-east Asia. At 55 cm and 1 kg, it is one of the world's largest shorebirds. At a mean of 1032 g in males and 1000 g in females, it the heaviest living member of the Charadriiformes outside of the gull and skua families.

It is less strictly nocturnal than most stone-curlews, and can sometimes be seen foraging by daylight, moving slowly and deliberately, with occasional short runs. It tends to be wary and fly off into the distance ahead of the observer, employing slow, rather stiff wingbeats.

The beach stone-curlew is a resident of undisturbed open beaches, exposed reefs, mangroves, and tidal sand or mudflats over a large range, including coastal eastern Australia as far south as far eastern Victoria, the northern Australian coast and nearby islands, New Guinea, New Caledonia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. It is uncommon over most of its range, and rare south of Cairns.

A single egg is laid just above the high tide line on the open beach, where it is vulnerable to predation and human disturbance.

The beach stone-curlew is classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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Category / Seasonal Status

Wiki listed status (concerning Thai population): Rare and local

BCST Category: Recorded in an apparently wild state within the last 50 years

BCST Seasonal status: Resident or presumed resident

Scientific classification

Esacus magnirostris

Common names

  • English:
    • Beach stone-curlew
    • Beach thick-knee
  • Thai: นกกระแตผีชายหาด


  • Esacus magnirostris magnirostris, Les Christidis & Walter E. Boles (2008)
  • Esacus neglectus neglectus, Les Christidis & Walter E. Boles (1994)
  • Burhinus giganteus giganteus, Charles Gald Sibley & Burt Leavelle Monroe (1990)
  • Esacus neglectus, Burhinus giganteus Wagler (1829)

Conservation status

Near Threatened (IUCN3.1)

Near Threatened (IUCN3.1)

Near Threatened (IUCN3.1)

Near Threatened (BirdLife)

Critically Endangered (IUCN3.1)

Critically Endangered (ONEP)

Critically Endangered (IUCN3.1)

Critically Endangered (BCST)

Range Map

Distribution map of Beach thick-knee, Esacus magnirostris in Thailand
  • Khura Buri District, Phang Nga
  • Surin Islands
  • Takua Pa District, Phang Nga
  • Tarutao National Marine Park
Range map of Esacus magnirostris in Thailand