Double-striped thick-knee
Burhinus bistriatus

The double-striped thick-knee (Burhinus bistriatus ) is a stone-curlew, a group of waders in the family Burhinidae. The vernacular name refers to the prominent joints in the long greenish-grey legs, and bistriatus to the two stripes of the head pattern.


The double-striped thick-knee is a medium-large wader with a strong black and yellow bill, large yellow eyes, which give it a reptilian appearance, and cryptic plumage. The adult is about 46 to 50 cm (18–20 in) long and weighs about 780 to 785 g (27.5–27.7 oz). It has finely streaked grey-brown upperparts, and a paler brown neck and breast merging into the white belly. The head has a strong white supercilium bordered above by a black stripe. Juveniles are similar to adults, but have slightly darker brown upperparts and a whitish nape. The double-striped thick-knee is striking in flight, with a white patch on the dark upperwing, and a white underwing with a black rear edge.

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The four subspecies differ in size and plumage tone, but individual variation makes identification of races difficult.

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It is a resident breeder in Central and South America from southern Mexico south to Colombia, Venezuela and northern Brazil. It also occurs on Hispaniola and some of the Venezuelan islands, and is a very rare vagrant to Trinidad, Curaçao and the USA. It prefers arid grassland, savanna, and other dry, open habitats.

Double-striped thick-knee habitat map
Double-striped thick-knee habitat map
Double-striped thick-knee
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Habits and Lifestyle

This is a largely nocturnal and crepuscular species. It flies only reluctantly, relying on crouching and camouflage for concealment. The double-striped thick-knee eats large insects and other small vertebrate and invertebrate prey. It is sometimes semi-domesticated because of its useful function in controlling insects, and has benefited from the clearing of woodlands to create pasture. The song, given at night, is a loud kee-kee-kee.

Seasonal behavior
Bird's call

Diet and Nutrition

Mating Habits

The nest is a bare scrape into which two olive-brown eggs are laid and incubated by both adults for 25–27 days to hatching. The downy young are precocial and soon leave the nest.



1. Double-striped thick-knee Wikipedia article -
2. Double-striped thick-knee on The IUCN Red List site -
3. Xeno-canto bird call -

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