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Spotted thick-knee, Burhinus capensis

The spotted thick-knee (Burhinus capensis) also known as the spotted dikkop or Cape thick-knee, is a wader in the family Burhinidae. It is native to tropical regions of central and southern Africa.

The spotted thick-knee is native to the grasslands and savannas of sub-Saharan Africa. Its range extends from Senegal, Mali and Mauritania in the west to Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa in the east and south.

Spotted thick-knee, Burhinus capensis

Spotted thick-knee, Burhinus capensis
Range map from - Ornithological Portal is one of those MUST visit pages if you're in to bird watching. You can find just about everything there

The spotted thick-knee, which can reach up to 45.5 cm in height, has long legs and brown-and-white speckled plumage which provides camouflage, making it difficult to spot the bird in the grasslands and savannas where it roams. Its head is large and round with a prominent yellow eye and a short, stout beak.

When in flight or standing in a characteristic position with its wings raised, it shows a striking contrasting pattern. Its legs are long and yellow and the tibiotarsal joint is expanded, giving it the name "thick-knee".

Listen to the Spotted thick-knee

Remarks from the Recordist

Bird in urban garden, on edge of open lawn next to cultivated shrubs. Overcast weather.

Adult bird appeared to be calling to fully grown chick in adjacent garden, with aggressive display with fanned tail.

The spotted thick-knee is nocturnal and squats on the ground during the daytime, making it difficult to spot. It hunts exclusively on the ground, feeding on insects, small mammals and lizards.

It nests on the ground, lining a scrape with grasses, feathers, pebbles and twigs.

The female typically lays two eggs, and males and females rear the offspring together, with both bringing food back to the nest. The birds will defend the nest and adopt a defensive pose with wings spread and tail cocked and will even peck an intruder. Sometimes they will fake injuries to lead predators away from the nest.

Spotted thick-knee, Burhinus capensis
Usually 2 eggs are laid at a two-day interval. They measure some 5.2 cm × 3.8 cm.
They are marked with sepia brown and ash grey on a pale, clay-coloured background.
By JMK - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The spotted thick-knee has a very extensive range, and its population is believed to be stable. For these reasons, the IUCN has rated it as being of "Least Concern"

Conservation status
Spotted thick-knee, Burhinus capensis
Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sighted: (Date of first photo that I could use) 13th of November 2014
Location: Chobe Game Lodge, Botswana

Spotted thick-knee, Burhinus capensis

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