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Thick-Knees: Burhinidae

Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Beach Thick-knee (esacus Magnirostris): Species AccountGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, THICK-KNEES AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS


Thick-knees are found primarily in the Old World, including portions of Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Two species occupy parts of Central America and South America, and several species occur in Australia.

Many species of thick-knees are found in either grassland or brush habitats. Others occupy dry desert areas, usually adjacent to a river or stream. The beach thick-knee is found in seashore areas. One species, the Senegal thick-knee, lives in large cities such as Cairo, Egypt, where it finds appropriate nesting areas on the flat roofs of houses and other buildings. Several species of thick-knees are occasionally found in agricultural lands and pastures.

Thick-knees appear in Australian folklore, where they have been given names that sound like their calls, such as "weeloo" or "willaroo." One species, the double-striped thick-knee, has been kept in farms and other human settlements to reduce the number of insects.

In Europe, stone-curlew populations have declined due to habitat destruction for agricultural development. Peruvian thick-knees are also declining in their habitats due to human disturbance. Bush thick-knees in Australia have declined due to habitat loss as well as hunting, egg collection, and predation, hunting, by foxes.

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Animal Life ResourceBirds