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Alternative name: Water Dikkop
38â€“41 cm (15-16"); 293â€“320 g.
 Similar species
Spotted Thick-knee lacks the pale wing panel and has upperparts spotted, not streaked. Senegal Thick-knee has the wing panel but is is upwards only limited by dark (no white) wing bar, and usually is more strongly limited by black on the lower side. Eurasian Thick-knee if overlapping in range would have a narrower pale panel bordered above by black-white-black.
This is a polytypic species varying mainly in bill length and upperpart color.
There are two subspecies.
Riverbanks and lake edges, estuaries and mangroves; also occasionally undisturbed, sheltered beaches.
The Water Thick-knee, like the other Thick-knees, is mainly nocturnal. It is, however, more active during the day than the rest of its genus, when it can be found on river and lake edges. This is particularly true when the weather is dull and overcast.
Feeds on wide range of prey, including crabs, aquatic beetles, frogs, insects, molluscs and small fish. Nocturnal and terrestrial feeder; sometimes feeds on dirt roads at night.
Season variable, but generally dry season and early rains in S Africa; Septâ€“Jan in Liberia; Jan, Apr and May in Ghana; Aug in Somalia. Monogamous. Nest a shallow scrape in sand, often among debris.
Mainly vocalizes at night. Call is a far-carrying, loud, rather strident but plaintive whistle, â€œti-ti-ti-ti-ti-tee-teee-teeee' fading towards the end.
Sedentary, apart from some local movements to avoid flooding and occasional records outside normal range.
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