Wildlife in Italy: Occhione Burhinus oedicnemus Linnaeus, 1758

Wildlife in Italy: Occhione Burhinus oedicnemus Linnaeus, 1758

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Systematic classification and distribution

Class: Birds
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Burhinidae
Kind: Burhinus
Species: B. oedicnemus Linnaeus, 1758

It reproduces in Asia, Europe and North Africa, while it spends the winter in southern Africa with the exception of some areas where it is sedentary.

Locchione has 10 subspecies:
- Burhinus oedicnemus oedicnemus
- Burhinus oedicnemus saharae
- Burhinus oedicnemus jordansi
- Burhinus oedicnemus theresae
- Burhinus oedicnemus astutus
- Burhinus oedicnemus insularum
- Burhinus oedicnemus harterti
- Burhinus oedicnemus distinctus
- Burhinus oedicnemus indicus
- Burhinus oedicnemus mayri

Common eye - Burhinus oedicnemus (photo John A. Thompson)

Common eye - Burhinus oedicnemus (photo

Common eye - Burhinus oedicnemus (photo

Distinctive characters

Length: 42-45 cm
Wingspan: 76-88 cm

Adults in nature are indistinguishable from one another. They have the upper parts, the head, the chest and the other part of the abdomen of a fawn sand strongly streaked with blackish. The upper wings in the basal part have the same color and are crossed by a white band, while at the ends they are black with white spots positioned in some points; even with closed wings the white band is visible. Above and below the eye there are two evident white stripes and a blackish streak crosses it starting just before and underlining it also below. Another blackish streak starts from the lower base of the beak and reaches the lower part of the neck. Below the wings are mainly whitish and so are the rest of the abdomen and belly, while the undertail is a pale orange. The beak is yellow at the base and blackish at the end. The legs are pale yellow and the large eye is yellow. Young people are completely similar to adults but with all the streaks, spots and speckles less evident and more nuanced.


The Occhione prefers open cultivated areas and steppe areas in general for feeding. Even the plumage is quite mimetic, making it practically invisible when it is on the ground.

Video: Stone Curlew burhinus oedicnemus (August 2022).