Double-striped Thick-knee – Burhinus bistriatus

Double-striped Thick-knee – Burhinus bistriatus

Double-striped thick-knee Burhinus bistriatus 

The double-striped thick-knee is a species of wader belonging to the family of Burhinidae.

It is a resident breeder in Central and South America. It also occurs on Hispaniola and some of the Venezuelan islands.

The double-striped thick-knee is a medium-large wader with a strong black and yellow beak, large yellow eyes, which give it a reptilian appearance, and cryptic plumage.

The adult is about 46 to 50 cm long and weighs about 780 to 785 g. It has finely streaked grey-brown upperpart, 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. However, it avoids flying, relying on crouching and camouflage for concealment. The song, given at night, is a loud kee-kee-kee.

There are four subspecies, differing in size and plumage tone, but individual variation makes identification of races difficult.

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.