This largely terrestrial bird has large spots on its back and a barred tail. Leg joints are knobby. Eyes are large and yellow. Face is brown, and bill is black. Breast is cinnamon streaked and spotted with blackish-brown.
Range: Eastern and southern Africa
Habitat Dry savannah and grasslands, bare sandy and stony areas, usually avoiding water
Life Expectancy: 8 years
Sexual Maturity: 2 years
Diet: In the wild, they eat insects, crustaceans, mollusks, frogs and some seeds.
Status: IUCN - Least Concern
Spotted dikkops are monogamous birds and solitary nesters. The incubation period is 24 days, and the clutch size is usually 2 eggs. Both parents incubate, feed and protect the young. Sometimes they are seen in organized flocks of 40-50 birds. On hot days, they lie on the ground with their feet outstretched behind them. Males are quite vocal and aggressive. Both parents will defend the nest.
Their coloring is good camouflage for their environment. Defensive behavior can be an adaptation. To lure a predator away from the nest or young, one of the parents may flop helplessly on the ground, pretending to have a broken wing. After catching the predator’s attention, this parent lures the predator away. When the nest and young are out of harm’s way, the parent miraculously recovers and flies away unharmed, leaving behind a bewildered predator.
This bird is also referred to as the spotted dikkop.
The Spotted dikkop is relatively common in the wild.