Distribution, habitat use and selection, ranging behaviour, diet and food supply of the stone curlew Burhinus oedicnemus were studied in a small, fragmented population at the north-western edge of its world range. Stone curlews bred on short semi-natural grassland and spring-sown arable farmland in areas with sandy soils with stones or rubble. They were most active at night and travelled up to about 3 km from the nest to forage. Individuals used a fragmented home range comprising an average of 30 ha of short semi-natural grassland, short improved pasture and spring-sown crops for foraging. Earthworms, soil-surface arthropods and molluscs were the main prey; the proportion of earthworms being lowest when the soil was dry. Breeding densities were highest on short semi-natural grassland. Stone curlews were most likely to breed on a spring-sown arable field if the crop was of a type that became tall and dense relatively late in the summer and if the field was close to short semi-natural grassland or sheep pasture and distant (> 3 km) from the nearest major road. Sparse vegetation and bare ground were the most obvious characteristics of habitats preferred for nesting and foraging.