Spotted dikkop in exhibit

Spotted Dikkop

Scientific Name
Burhinus capensis
Geographic Range
Sub-Saharan Africa
Insects (also crabs, mollusks, grass seeds, rodents, snails, small lizards, and moths)
Spotted dikkop in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern

More Information

Spotted dikkops are medium-sized birds with a short yellow and brown beak, long legs, and a speckled pattern of brown and white on their feathers that provide camouflage in their grassland habitats. Their yellow eyes improve vision at dusk and at night.

These birds form flocks outside of breeding season but become aggressive in season. They tend to have monogamous relationships. Their nests are built in shallow indentations lined with found items from rocks to grasses. They lay up to three eggs per clutch, incubated by both parents for 24–30 days. Young birds fledge after six or seven weeks and reach maturity between one and three years of age.

Did You Know?

  • These birds are known by several “thick-knee” names, but this is not truly accurate; the knobby joints on their legs being referenced are their ankles. When the birds sit, they extend the lower portion of their legs forward.
  • Spotted dikkops are good runners. They are helped by three slightly webbed toes that point forward on each foot.
  • These birds hunt for insects by repeatedly running forward, stopping, and jabbing at prey with their bill.
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