Double-striped Thick-knee (Burhinus bistriatus)
(aka Double-striped Stone-curlew, Mexican Thick-knee)
Double-striped Thick-knee, Roraima, Brazil, July 2001 - click for larger image Roraima, Brazil
July 2001

The Double-striped Thick-knee is found from southern Mexico through northern Colombia, Venezuela and the Guyanas to the extreme north of Brazil.

Being the only thick-knee in its range it is easy to identify when seen but note the black line above the white eyebrow and the distinct line between the dark brown breast and the white belly.

It has a noticeable yellow iris in a large eye and, if you ever see its legs, they are long with a thickening around the "knee" which is, of course the heel but "Thick-heel" as a name seems somewhat less elegant.

As the large eye suggests, they tend to be most active around dusk and at night. This, combined with their habit of squatting down in the grass during the day means that they are not easy birds to see.

They are found in open grassland such as the savannah of Roraima where this photo was taken. They eat mainly insects

There are illustrations in HBW, Volume 3, Pages 349 and 360; Sick, Page 233; Hilty & Brown, Page 171; and Shorebirds, Plate 15. Curiously both Sick and Hilty & Brown show the legs much shorter than they are in reality.

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