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Thick-knee, Spotted

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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francoisd
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Thick-knee, Spotted

Unread postby francoisd » Thu Sep 07, 2006 1:06 pm

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Unread postby Wild about cats » Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:52 pm

Spotted Thick-knee

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa wrote:Identification: Size large; Plover-like; large yellow eyes conspicious; above spotted dark brown on buff (streaked in Water Dikkop); no wingbar as in Water Dikkop; below white, faintly washed cinnamon and streaked brown on chest; undertail coverts deep buff; in flight bold black-and-white pattern in wing; lives away from water. Chick: Above grey, with black lines down back and head;below white; iris pale yellow.
Voice: Loud piping notes, rising in pitch and volume, then dying away, pi-pi-pi-pi peo peo peo-pi-pi pi; more musical than calls of Water Dikkop; growling alarm notes
Status: Common resident.
Habitat: Open grassland near trees or bushes, savanna, large lawns, playing pields, cemetries, airfields, agricultural land, stony semi-desert with scrub; less often wide marine beaches.
Habits: Solitary or in pairs when breeding; otherwise may be gregorious in flocks of 40-50 birds. Largly crepuscular and nocturnal, but also active on cloudy days; by day stands or crouches in shade of a bush or tree; when disturbed runs off with head low; flies strongly with shallow erratic wingbeats, holding wings out briefly as it runs on landing; usually stands still of crouches unless disturbed again. Vocal at night and on heavily overcast days, especially after the rain.
Food: Insects, crustations, molluscs, grass seeds, frogs etc.
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Johan van Rensburg
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Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Thu May 01, 2008 9:31 am

The Spotted Thick-knee, Burhinus capensis, is actually an omnivore. They will feed mainly on a range of insects and other invertebrates, small lizards, rodents, snails, crabs and even an occasional frog, but often grass seeds are included in their diet. The stomach contents hold substantial amounts of grit, small pieces of glass and metal.

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The large yellow eyes are an adaptation to being active at dusk and dawn and at night. The bird’s long legs appear to have thick knees, hence the name “Thick-knee”. However, the actual part that looks like a thickened knee is not the knee but actually the heel of the foot.

This thick-knee likes dry, open country. Its brown, black and white colors blend well into its surroundings. The birds rely on their extremely effective camouflage to protect themselves from predators. The photograph below shows the thick-knee in typical day-time pose. They remain motionless like this until you are virtually on top of them and then will suddenly fly off, giving you a near heart attack. :lol:

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Thick-knees are usually quiet birds during the daytime and quite noisy during the darker hours when they are active. They are capable of flying but would rather walk. They are very mellow and will only move from their spot if you approach very closely.

The males do become aggressive and territorial when they are protecting or defending the young. Spotted thick-knee is thought to have a long-term pair bond. They start breeding in August and the last chicks may only fledge in May. In addition, a pair may have more than one successful breeding attempt; some have been recorded rearing chicks successfully from four different nests during a season. If nests or chicks are lost, further attempts to breed may occur. They lay one to three speckled, brown eggs in a scrape in the sand, lined with vegetation. Nests are usually in the open under or near tall trees. The eggs take about a month to hatch and the chicks between five and six weeks to fledge. Both parents will help incubate the egg, though the mother tends to do most of the brooding. This species has a life span of 20 years, but have survived over 30 years in captivity.

They are regularly preyed upon by Verreaux’s and spotted eagle owls and tawny eagles.
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Lionspoon
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Lionspoon » Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:06 pm

I'm already back again with more. :redface:

Spotted thick-knee?
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Still all from KTP.

Thanks again!
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Batmad » Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:40 pm

Spotted thick-knee
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Lionspoon » Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:43 pm

Thank you, Batmad!!! :dance:
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