Peruvian Thick-knee Burhinus superciliaris


The Peruvian Thick-knee is restricted to the coastal slope from southernmost Ecuador, through Peru to northernmost Chile. Its range effectively delimits much of the coastal desert of western South America. As is typical of this genus, the Peruvian Thick-knee is largely active at night, and roosting motionless in open areas where the ground color is quite similar to that of the back color of the bird. These thick-knees can be quite difficult to find in the day, even when sitting in nearly open fields. At night they are active, move quickly and are alert giving calls that are not dissimilar from that of lapwings (Vanellus sp.). Their habitat is mainly in agricultural areas, or vegetated river valleys in desert. They do particularly well in fields of corn, alfalfa and other crops that maintain a largely open structure. They do not like olive groves or dense tomato plantations for example. In the day one of the best ways to detect their presence is to look in sandy areas for their distinctive thick looking, three-toed tracks. The breeding biology of this shorebird is not well understood, particularly with respect to breeding season. Perhaps they breed throughout the year.

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© Daniel Cáceres (MUSA)

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Peruvian Thick-knee (Burhinus superciliaris), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: