Family Thick-knees (Burhinidae)

Least Concern

Senegal Thick-knee (Burhinus senegalensis)


French: Oedicnème du Sénégal German: Senegaltriel Spanish: Alcaraván senegalés

Œdicnemus Senegalensis


, 1837,



E populations sometimes separated as race inornatus, but differences from others rather slight and broad zone of intergradation through N Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic and NE DRCongo. Monotypic.


Senegambia E through Nigeria and Central African Republic to Sudan, whence N to Egypt, E to Ethiopia and S to NW Kenya.

Descriptive notes

32–38 cm; 306–362 g. No known differences between the sexes and all plumages similar irrespective of season. Very similar to both B. oedicnemus (which... read more


Sings mainly at dusk and dawn, but also at any time of night, especially if moonlit. Considered to... read more


Damp, muddy riversides to sandy ridges, extensive grassy flats beside rivers, lagoons or even... read more

Food and feeding

Small invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, molluscs and small rodents. Mainly nocturnal and exclusively terrestrial feeder. Forages by... read more


Season varies, but usually breeds before rains in areas with seasonal rainfall, when river levels are low, exposing suitable banks and... read more


Mostly sedentary but seasonal movements in parts of W Africa related to flooding and drought, both... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally common and shows ability to survive well in areas populated by man, although few solid data available. Common in ... read more

Recommended citation

Hume, R. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Senegal Thick-knee (Burhinus senegalensis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 20 September 2019).