Bush Stone-curlew, Burhinus grallarius
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Burhinidae
Mathews, 1912

The Stone-curlews, also known as Dikkops or Thick-knees are a group of largely tropical birds in the family Burhinidae. Despite the group being classified as waders, most species have a preference for arid or semi-arid habitats. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone, with some species also breeding in temperate Europe and Australia.

They are medium to large birds with strong black or yellow black bills, large yellow eyes—which give them a reptilian appearance—and cryptic plumage. The names Thick-knee and Stone-curlew are both in common use, the preference among authorities for one term or the other varying from year to year. The term Stone-curlew owes its origin to the broad similarities with true curlews (which are not closely related). Thick-knee refers to the prominent joints in the long yellow or greenish legs and apparently originated with a name coined in 1776 for B. oedicnemus, the Thick-kneed Bustard.

They are largely nocturnal, particularly when singing their loud wailing songs, which are reminiscent of true curlews.[1]

The diet consists mainly of insects and other invertebrates. Larger species will also take lizards and even small mammals.[1]

Most species are sedentary, but the Stone Curlew is a summer migrant in the temperate European part of its range, wintering in Africa.


The nine species are:

Picture Name Binomial name
Burhinus oedicnemus -central India-8.jpg Eurasian Stone-curlew Burhinus oedicnemus
No picture Senegal Thick-knee Burhinus senegalensis
Waterdikkop-crop.jpg Water Thick-knee Burhinus vermiculatus
Cape Thick-knees.jpg Spotted Thick-knee Burhinus capensis
Double-striped Thick-knee.jpg Double-striped Thick-knee Burhinus bistriatus
Peruvian Thick-knee (Burhinus superciliaris).jpg Peruvian Thick-knee Burhinus superciliaris
Bush Stone-curlew.jpg Bush Stone-curlew Burhinus grallarius (formerly B. magnirostris, the Bush Thick-knee).
Thimindu 2009 09 27 Yala Great Stone Curlew 2.JPG Great Stone-curlew Esacus recurvirostris
Beach Thick-knee Inskip Pt2.JPG Beach Stone-curlew Esacus giganteus (formerly E. magnirostris, the Beach Thick-knee).


  1. ^ a b Harrison, Colin J.O. (1991). Forshaw, Joseph. ed. Encyclopaedia of Animals: Birds. London: Merehurst Press. pp. 105–106. ISBN 1-85391-186-0. 

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Stone curlew — Stone Stone, n. [OE. ston, stan, AS. st[=a]n; akin to OS. & OFries. st[=e]n, D. steen, G. stein, Icel. steinn, Sw. sten, Dan. steen, Goth. stains, Russ. stiena a wall, Gr. ?, ?, a pebble. [root]167. Cf. {Steen}.] 1. Concreted earthy or mineral… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Stone Curlew — Taxobox name = Stone Curlew status = LC | status system = IUCN3.1 status ref = [IUCN2006|assessors=BirdLife International|year=2004|id=49108|title=Burhinus oedicnemus|downloaded=11 May 2006 Database entry includes justification for why this… …   Wikipedia

  • stone curlew — Whimbrel Whim brel, n. [Cf. {Whimper}.] (Zo[ o]l) Any one of several species of small curlews, especially the European species (Numenius ph[ae]opus), called also {Jack curlew}, {half curlew}, {stone curlew}, and {tang whaup}. See Illustration in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • stone-curlew — /stoʊn ˈkɜlju / (say stohn kerlyooh) noun any of various large, nocturnal birds of the family Burhinidae, as the beach stone curlew and the bush stone curlew. Also, stone plover …  

  • stone curlew — Willet Wil let, n. (Zo[ o]l.) A large North American snipe ({Symphemia semipalmata}); called also {pill willet}, {will willet}, {semipalmated tattler}, or {snipe}, {duck snipe}, and {stone curlew}. [1913 Webster] {Carolina willet}, the Hudsonian… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Stone Curlew — storkulnis statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Burhinus oedicnemus angl. Stone Curlew vok. Triel …   Paukščių anatomijos terminai

  • stone curlew — storkulniai statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Burhinus angl. stone curlew; thick knee vok. Triel, m rus. авдотка, f pranc. oedicnème, m ryšiai: platesnis terminas – storkulniniai siauresnis terminas – australinis storkulnis …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • stone-curlew — paprastasis storkulnis statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Burhinus oedicnemus angl. stone curlew vok. Triel, m rus. авдотка, f pranc. oedicnème criard, m ryšiai: platesnis terminas – storkulniai sinonimas – storkulnis …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • stone-curlew — n. Stone plover, thick kneed plover, bustard, thick knee (Edicnemus crepitants) …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • stone curlew — thick knee. [1670 80] * * * …   Universalium

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