Spotted Thick-knee (Burhinus capensis)
A Spotted Dikkop that became a thick-knee.. I have known this bird all my life as a dikkop… why is it now known as a thick knee, did it develop water on the knee without me noticing.??
As bird names change.. (although I don’t know why).. it becomes more difficult to Identify them.. “Look at the dikkop..” answered by “You mean the thick-knee”. Why has it become necessary to change the names?
The spotted thick-knee, which can reach up to 18 inches in height, has long legs and a brown-and-white speckled coat. It ranges widely through sub-Saharan Africa, where it occupies dry grasslands and savannahs. The spotted dikkop’s brown, spotted feathers provide camouflage, making it difficult to spot in the grasslands where it lives.
The species hunts exclusively on the ground, feeding on insects, small mammals and lizards. It also nests on the ground, lining a scrape with grasses, feathers, pebbles and twigs. The female typically lays two eggs, and males and females rear offspring together, with both bringing food back to the nest. The birds will even fake injuries to lead predators away from the nest.
We have a pair here in the garden they laid one egg today and the next one will follow tomorrow anyone no how long it takes to breed
Sorry meant to say hatch lol
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These guys are so close to my heart! 2 pairs moved in at my in-laws house and they are adorable! The one does the fake injury thing whenever you look at him, look at my poor broken wing, oh no! Really the awesomest birds you could want in your garden…
I love this bird myself.. this last season I watched a breeding pair right through the period… they got so used to me that I could lift the Mother to check on the eggs… but if my wife came close they attacked and did the injured thing… when the young were hatched I got 2 photos of the young and that was that .. the parents took them off into the longer grass and you could never find the young… they were there but so well camouflaged.. lovely birds..
That they are! The way they stare at me sometimes, I’m certain that they are contemplating the best way to feed me to their young!
I think we call these Stone Curlews over here, I’ve only seen them at two sites – they are so precious at one Norfolk venue that they get around the clock protection. I always thought they look a bit like the deceased GREAT comedian Marty Feldman.
Now that you mention.. I think it’s the eyes…
We live in De Kelders, Western Cape, South Africa and we have lots of these birds around here. Problem though…it is now the 3rd time in about 5 months that the birds as nesting and every time the chicks hatch, they will be eaten by neighborhood cats. Any idea as to what we can do to make the last batch survive?
Wish I knew the answer….. maybe shoot the cats?
What a beautiful bird. That is rather strange that suddenly the name would change. I wonder who made that decision? 🙂
Who knows.. when researching name changes I could not believe that the Douglas fir has had 21 name changes… how are people meant to keep up…
This one is giving you a great pose, Bulldog. I love those speckled feathers 😉
It was almost as though he posed for the photographs before disappearing into the grass…
‘We have a number of ‘dikkop’s here in the grounds where I live. I googled the name and found ‘thick knee’. I thought that it was so stupid – if it was supposed to be a translation from Afrikaans to Enlish then it should have been ‘thick head’, not so? Lovely photo’s, BD.
Thats right thick head it should have been.. I did have someone try to explain the reason for change.. I still don’t understand… “plovers” that have now become “lapwings” and so on and so on
This is why, for plants, I am tempted to stick to the botanical names – but then they even mess about changing those! It is infuriating. I’ve never before heard this ‘thick knee’ thing. I think the inventor was a dikkop – I mean, a fathead!
I so agree with you.. I spent a day with Prof Braam van Wyk in the bush.. he wasn’t very forthcoming with answers as to why the trees were being renamed even down to the botanical names..
I think a lot of these academic types become far too full of ‘it’.
I can’t agree more… he did say a lot of the botanical names include the persons name that found it .. that is now being removed and the trees family name is replacing it… makes tree Identification something I’ve given up on.. even though I have all his books that he signed and gave me…
I got steamed up about our local Dracaena hookeriana, which I had always known as such, suddenly becoming aletriformis; but now it seems to have reverted. Utter confusion!
I read an article about tree name changes (or should I say plant name changes) do you know the Douglas Fir has had 21 botanical name changes in it’s life.?? How are we mere mortals meant to keep up…
lovely one… and wonderful photographs… Seems that he knows to be taken pictures 🙂 Thanks and love, nia
It looks as though he knew even gave me the pose…
Then there’s the possibility that only the bird know its REAL name! 🙂
I agree… he probably calls himself “bright eyes”
Great photos, what super work you do. As always, I’m impressed.
Thank you so much..kind of you to say…
dikkop pronounced the way it’s written sounds like fat head in German! Add that to the list of stuff you never wanted to know hahaha
“Dik Kop” is Afrikaans for “Thick head” why anyone would call this bird that I don’t know.. but then in the same, to call it a thick knee just amazas me…
Yes Afrikaans is from old high Dutch.. and slowly changed to the Afrikaans we have now…
Beautiful eyes! I like your rhino and blue crane posts too.
thanks very much
I don’t think there’e a thick knee on this bird anywhere!! Not on it’s head, not on it’s feet…why the name change..hmmmmmm
Love it’s ginormous eyes!!
I would love to have eyes like it… all the good looking girls would take a second look at me…
Shame, poor birdie. First to be known as a dikkop when its head isn’t even that big and now to be known for knees that don’t even look arthritic.
How right you are… wonder where the name came from…
I’m always amazed at how many birds and animals Africa has that we don’t have in North America.
we have according to the books 934 different species… I’ve got a long way to go…
Good. You’ll keep me entertained.
Such stern eyes!
Outstanding aren’t they
I’m right with you on the name changes. Driving me nuts. I happen to adore the Dikkop (which I shall continue to call such) and am quite baffled as to why the would choose Thick Knee as a replacement name. To me, it’s always the eyes that stand out most on this bird. I have a pair that I watch from my bedroom window – they seem to have taken up permanent residence here so I get to watch them have babies every year.
How lucky are you… I would love to have a set nearby that I can watch…
Those eyes are like those of a proud hawk.
The eyes seem to look right through a person… beautiful…
also meant to say … more stunning pictures of a difficult to spot bird. Weel done. Laura
Thanks Laura… this one popped out right in front of me and then stopped to make sure I caught it’s best side… well that’s how it felt…
Hey Rob perhaps you should note that Dikkop translates into “thick Head” …. Laura
Oh Laura as an Afrikaans speaking man I realised that.. but why then did they not convert it to “spotted thick-head” at least then I’d remember the damn name… lol.. mind you that has made me think of how many people I know by that name…lol
Their eyes seem so unusually big for their heads, actually very beautiful. Nice pics, Bulldog.
Thank you… yes the eyes really grab you.. feels like he looks right through you…