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Namibia


Water thick-knee

Birds of Namibia

Introduction: Water thick-knees (Burhinus vermiculatus), as one would expect, inhabit freshwater rivers, lakes and dams as well as some swamps, estuaries and beaches. They are active at dawn and dusk as well as through the night, often in pairs or groups of less than 30. Roosting is undertaken by either standing or squatting by day close to water and under cover. This species are associated with warning both the hippopotamus and Nile crocodile of impending danger.

Distribution: Etosha National Park, Epupa Falls, Kunene River estuary and the Caprivi.

Diet: Crabs, aquatic beetles, frogs and tadpoles, grasshoppers and locusts, worms, crustaceans and termites. Live millipedes are swallowed hole. The Namaqua rock mouse sometimes appears on the menu.

Description: Can only ever be confused with the spotted thick-knee which lacks the grey wing panel of this species.

Breeding: A shallow scrape in the ground is sometimes lined with dry mud or vegetation. Eggs are laid between September and January.

Size: 40cm. Weight: 440g.

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