Sunday, 14 November 2010


Eurypyga helias

Photo by Jennifer Williams (Neotropical Birds)

Common name:

Order Gruiformes
Family Eurypygidae

The sunbittern is found in Central and South America, from Guatemala in the north, down to the Pantanal in southern Brazil.

The sunbittern is 46-53 cm long and has a wingspan of 60-70 cm. They weigh 170-220 g.

They are found along the wooded banks of rivers and creeks up to an elevation of 1000 m. They prefer habitats with thick vegetation.

They feed on small fish, amphibians, crustaceans and insects, taken from the water and the land along the river edge.

The nest is built in a tree or shrub and consists of mud and sticks lined with dry vegetation. 2-3 buff or light brown eggs are laid and then incubated by both parents for 27-28 days. The young are nidifugous but remain in the nest for 2-3 weeks being fed by the adults.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
With a population of 500.000 to 5.000.000 and a very large breeding range, this species is not threatened at present.

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