Cunene Birds: Spotted Thick-Knee

Spotted Thick-Knee – Burhinus capensis                                                       (Alternative Name: Spotted Dikkop)

Thick Knee

The Spotted Thick-Knee is easily identified by the large yellow eyes, yellow legs and spotted underparts.

Status: The Thick-Knee is fairly common but mostly nocturnal.

In non-breeding season one can find flocks of between 40 – 50 birds.

Food: Insects like beetles and termites.

Call: They have a mournful ti-ti-ti-teeeeteeeteee ti ti ti call.

Breeding: The Spotted Thick-Knee will breed in almost any flat are available; from open country, bare batches, savanna and Karoo to urban open areas like golf courses.

They prefer to nest solitary, but in urban areas like parks and golf courses, more than one pair can be found within the same area.

A clutch typically consists of two eggs which are laid on flat ground without a sign of a scrape being created or any nesting material. The nesting site usually has a 360 degree view and where a bush or shade is available, they will nest under it or near it.

The eggs are often found between branches, stones or tufts of vegetation that serves to conceal the eggs.

The Spotted Thick-Knee is monogamous.

Source: Roberts Bird Guide, 2007

A Guide to Nests & Eggs of Southern African Birds, Warwick Tarbaton, 2001

The Wildlife of Southern Africa, Vincent Carruthers, 1997

Photo: Copyright emdt.photography

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