Indian Thick-knee

Indian Thick-knee   Burhinus Indicus


  • Burhinus : Greek word bous- ox; rhinos –nose
  • Indicus : From India

 Vernacular Names:  Mar: Bhartiya Karvanak

Distribution in India: Widespread resident in India.

Description:  Size of 40–44 cm. Both sexes are alike. It has a brown plumage, largely whitish face, with blackish eyestripe and submoustachial stripe, and three dark and two alternating white bars on wing-coverts. In flight it shows blackish flight-feathers, silvery median coverts, and small white patches at base of inner and outer primaries and mostly dark tail, as well as broad blackish trailing edge to underwing. It has large yellow eyes, stout dark bill and longish yellow legs. It is darker and more broadly streaked, especially on mantle. The juvenile has scapulars, inner wing-coverts and tertials fringed rufous-buff, with less obvious dark bars on wing-coverts and whiter tips to greater coverts.

Habitat: It is found in sparse, dry deciduous and thorn forests, dry savannas, low-intensity agricultural areas, stony, dry riverbeds with scrub, in groves and even gardens; also semi-desert areas. It is found in lowlands and low hills up to 1300 m.

Food Habits: It eats beetles, grasshoppers and large ants, worms, small reptiles, large millipedes and occasionally seeds. Its foraging behaviour is sudden, short runs to capture prey, or a swift lunge, and forages singly, in pairs or small groups. It is crepuscular and partially nocturnal. It rarely flies by day, preferring to slink off if disturbed at roosts.

Breeding Habits:  They  breed in Mar–Apr across Indian Subcontinent. The nest is a shallow, unlined scrape on ground. They lay a clutch of 2–3 eggs .