Burhinidae - Thick-knees

Named for the stony ground on which they live, the most strking feature of the stone-curlews is their piercing yellow eyes, an adaptation to their crepuscular lifestyle - they are most active at dawn and dusk. They get their alternative name of thick-knee from the swollen 'knee' joint (which, as in all birds, is actually more akin to an ankle joint) on their long yellow legs. Their mottled brown and sandy plumage is ideally suited as camouflage on open, sandy ground, where their nest is often little more than a scrape in the ground.

There is one British representative, the Stone Curlew, found on the open plains of East Anglia and Wiltshire.