Encyclopedia > Thick-knee

  Article Content


Scientific classification
Burhinus oedicnemus
Burhinus senegalensis
Burhinus vermiculatus
Burhinus capensis
Burhinus bistriatus
Burhinus superciliaris
Burhinus grallarius
Esacus recurvirostris
Esacus neglectus

The thick-knees or stone-curlews are a group of largely tropical waders in the family Burhinidae. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone, with some species also breeding in temperate Europe and Australia.

They are medium to large waders with strong black or yellow black bills, large yellow eyes—which give them a reptilian appearance—and cryptic plumage. The group name refers to the prominent joints in the long yellow or greenish legs and apparently originated with a name coined in 1776 for B. oedicnemus: "Thick-kneed Bustard". Both thick-knee and stone-curlew are in common use, the preference among authorities for one term or the other varying from year to year.

Despite being classed as waders, most species have a preference for arid or semi-arid habitats. They are largely nocturnal, particulary when singing their loud wailing songs, which are reminiscent of Curlews.

Food is insects and other invertebrates. The larger species will also take lizards and even small mammals.

Most species are sedentary, but the Stone Curlew is a summer migrant in the temperate European part of its range, wintering in Africa.

The nine species are:

  • Stone-curlew Burhinus oedicnemus
  • Senegal Thick-knee Burhinus senegalensis
  • Water Dikkop Burhinus vermiculatus
  • Spotted Dikkop Burhinus capensis
  • Double-striped Thick-knee Burhinus bistriatus
  • Peruvian Thick-knee Burhinus superciliaris
  • Bush Stone-curlew Burhinus grallarius (formerly B. magnirostris, the Bush Thick-knee).
  • Great Thick-knee Esacus recurvirostris
  • Beach Stone-curlew Esacus neglectus (formerly E. magnirostris, the Beach Thick-knee).

Stone curlew

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article
Reformed churches

... International Conference of Reformed Churches[?] Reformed Ecumenical Council[?] World Alliance of Reformed Churches[?] [1] ...

This page was created in 38.3 ms