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SHOREBIRDS

Most Shorebirds walk along shores probing for food with their thin sensitive bills. Bill length varies considerably so differing species can work the same shore and obtain different food supplies. Shorebirds include sandpipers, godwits, stilts, oystercatchers, plovers, and many more. Shorebirds belong to the Charadriiformes order which also includes the Gulls and Allies.
Note: the term Shorebirds is used in the Americas; elsewhere "waders" is used. We will reserve "waders" for herons and allies.

Some Charadriiformes families:
Burhinidae: thick-knees; Charadriidae: small plovers, lapwings; Glareolidae: courses, pratincoles; Haematopodidae: oystercatchers
Jacanidae: jacanas; Recurvirostridae: avocets, stilts; Scolopacidae: small bill sandpipers, large bill sandpipers.


Thick-knees

Order Charadriiformes    Family Burhinidae

Thick-knees are so named because of their prominent joints on their long yellow or greenish legs. They are also called stone-curlews because of their similarities to curlews, but they are not close relatives. Even though they are clasified as waders, they have a preference for arid or semi-arid areas. They have yellow eyes and  heavy black or yellow black bills. They are mainly nocturnal. The diet consist of insects, other small invertebrates, and somtimes small lizards or small mammels.


Genus Burhinus
The Thick-knees, also known as Stone-curlews or Dikkops, have "thick knees".

Thick-knee, Bush also Bush Stone-curlew  Burhinus grallarius   Found: Australia
The Bush Thick-knee has gray brown upperparts; buff underparts; black streaking on breast and flanks; white supercilium, forehead, throat; dark eye-stripe curved toward neck; black bill
Similar to: Beech Tnick-knee. Beach Thick-knee has much bigger bill than Bush Thick-knee.
Image by: 1) Charlie Westerinen - south of Brisbane, Australia    2) Dick Daniels   3) Mangatome  4) Mathew Kenwrick


Thick-knee, Double-striped  Burhinus bistriatus  Found: Central and South America
The Double-striped Thick-knee has streaked gray-brown upperparts; paler brown neck and breast merging into white belly; greenish-gray legs. The head has a strong white supercilium bordered above by a black stripe.
Similar to: Peruvian Thick-knee. Their ranges do not overlap. The Double-striped Thick-knee has a bolder dark head stripe than the Peruvian Thick-knee. It also has a darker body.
Image by: 1) Philipp Weigell  2) Dominic Sherony  3) Steve Garvie - province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica


Thick-knee, Eurasian  also Eurasian Stone-curlew   Burhinus oedicnemus  Found: Europe, Asia, Africa
The Eurasian Thick-knee has a black-tipped bill with yellow base; white supercilium; white wing bar.
Similar to: Indian Thick-knee. Eurasian Thick-knee has more yellow at the base of the bill than does the Indian Thick-knee. The Indian Thick-knee was formerly considered to be a subspecies of the Eurasian Thick-knee.
Similar to: Senegal Thick-knee. The Eurasian Thick-knee has a white wing bar; Senegal Thick-knee has a dark wing bar.
Similar to: Spotted Thick-knee. The Spotted Thick-knee has a spotted-like body; Eurasian Thick-knee doesn't. Eurasian Thick-knee has bright black and yellow bill.
Similar to: Water Thick-knee. The Eurasian Thick-knee has bright yellow at the base of its bill; the Water Thick-knee does not.
Image by:1) Pawel Ryszawa   2, 3)  Frank Vassen on the Canary Island of Lanzarote  4) Pascal_Aleixandre 


Thick-knee, Indian also Indian Stone-curlew  Burhinus indicuFound: India and Sri Lanka to southeast Asia; winters in Africa
The Indian Thick-knee has a black-tipped bill with yellow base; white supercilium; white wing bar.
Similar to: Eurasian Thick-knee. Eurasian Thick-knee has more yellow at the base of the bill than does the Indian Thick-knee. The Indian Thick-knee was formerly considered to be a subspecies of the Eurasian Thick-knee.
Image by: 1) Rahul Sheel - India  2) David Cook - Sri Lanka  3) S. Shankar - India


Thick-knee, Peruvian  Burhinus superciliaris  Found: Chile, Ecuador, Peru
The Peruvian Thick-knee has a white area around the eye that resembles a supercilium, but extends below the eye. It is bordered above by a dark line.
Similar to: Double-striped Thick-knee. Their ranges do not overlap. The Double-striped Thick-knee has a bolder dark head stripe than the Peruvian Thick-knee. It also has a darker body.
Image by: 1, 2) Dick Daniels - Jacksonville Zoo  3) David Cook - Peru   4) Dominic Sherony - Peru 


Thick-knee, Senegal  Burhinus senegalensis  Found: Africa
The Senegal Thick-knee has a black-tipped bill with yellow base; white supercilium; dark wing bar.
Similar to: Eurasian Thick-knee. The Eurasian Thick-knee has a white wing bar; Senegal Thick-knee has a dark wing bar.
Similar to: Spotted Thick-knee. The Spotted Thick-knee has a spotted-like body; Senegal Thick-knee doesn't.
Similar to: Water Thick-knee. The Senegal Thick-knee has bright yellow at the base of its bill; the Water Thick-knee does not.
Image by: 1, 2) Steve Garvie - Kenya  3) Kris Maes   4) Steven Cross - Gambia


Thick-knee, Spotted  also  Cape Thick-knee, Spotted Stone-curlew, Spotted Dikkop Burhinus capensis  Found: Africa
The Spotted Thick-knee has a brown and white speckled body.
Similar to: Eurasian Thick-knee. The Spotted Thick-knee has a spotted-like body; Eurasian Thick-knee doesn't. Eurasian Thick-knee has bright black and yellow bill.
Similar to: Senegal Thick-knee. The Spotted Thick-knee has a spotted-like body; Senegal Thick-knee doesn't.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels- Jacksonvile Zoo, Florida   2) Sandy Cole - Birds of Eden, South Africa   3, 4) Dick - Birds of Eden, South Africa  5) Joseph Mochoge - Kenya


Thick-knee, Water also Water Dikkop Burhinus vermiculatus Found: Africa
Unlike most Thick-knees, the Water Thick-knee is usually found near water. It has a white wing bar.
Similar to: Eurasian Thick-knee. The Eurasian Thick-knee has bright yellow at the base of its bill; the Water Thick-knee does not.
Similar to: Senegal Thick-knee. The Senegal Thick-knee has bright yellow at the base of its bill; the Water Thick-knee does not.
Image by:  1, 2, 4) Charlie Westerinen - Chobe Park in Botswana  3) Dick Daniels - World of Birds, South Africa   5) Dick - St. Lucia, South Africa   6, 7) Arno Meintjes 




Genus Esacus

Thick-knee, Beach  also Beach Stone-curlew  Esacus magnirostris  Found: Australia
The Beach Thick-knee has brown upperparts; white throat, underparts; black eye-stripe curved to neck with thin white line above; large black bill with yellow base; yellow legs.
Similar to: Bush Thick-knee. Beach Thick-knee has much bigger bill than Bush Thick-knee.
Image by: 1) Jerry Oldenettel   2) Vasco Pyjama  3) Aviceda


Thick-knee, Great  Esacus recurvirostris  Found: Asia
The Great Thick-knee has a massive upturned bill; unstreaked gray-brown upperparts and breast; whitish throat, belly; black and white face; black bill with yellow base. In flight has and white upper-wings; white under-wings.
Image by: 1, 2) Gaurika Wijeratne - Sri Lanka   3) Thimindu - Sri Lanka  4) v ksrikanth





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