NEOTROPICAL Tropical Freshwater
birds

The water birds of the tropical freshwater flooded grasslands and wetlands of South and Central America...

Family Opisthocomidae: 'Hoatzin'

There is only one species in this family.

Yarina Lodge, Ecuador.

Opisthocomus hoazin'Hoatzin'. Large bird with wacky crest. Clambers about in waterside trees clumsily, often making grunting and croaking sounds. Unusually for a bird, it often eats leaves. Found in swampy habitats in South America. 

Family Aramidae: Limpkin

Limpkin (image by Damon Ramsey)Yarina Lodge, Ecuador.

Aramus guarauna, 'Limpkin'. At first glance, looks like a stork or egret. Apparently eats only 'apple snails'. Found around freshwater throughout South America, Central America and into Florida.

Family Laridae: Gulls

Rynchops spp. 'Skimmers'

There are three species of skimmers; one in tropical Asia, one in tropical Africa, and this one in the tropical Americas. The have the most uneven bills of any bird in the world. They use the bizarre elongated lower mandible to slice through the surface of the water as they fly. Their main prey is reported to be fish. 

Rynchops niger, 'Skimmer', (Pousa Alegre, Brazil).

Family Eurypygidae: Sunbittern

There is only one species in this family.

Eurypyga helias, 'Sun bittern' (Pousa Alegre, Brazil). Found in wetland of central and south America.

Family Jacanidae

Jacana jacana, 'Wattled Jacana', (Pantanal, Brazil).

Family Threskiornithidae: Ibises, Spoonbills

Mesembrinibis cayennensis, 'Green Ibis' (Pousa Alegre, Brazil). Found in central and south America.

 Theristicus caerulescens, 'Plumbeous Ibis', (Hotel Pantanal Mato Grosso, the Pantanal, Brazil).

Family Ardeidae: Herons

Ardea cocoi'Cocoi Heron' (Pantanal, Brazil).

Snowy Egret (image by Damon Ramsey)Snowy Egret (Pantanal, Brazil)

Egretta thula, 'Snowy Egret'. Similar to Little Egret of old world tropics. Found in habitats around southern North America and most of South America.

Pilherodius pileatus,'Capped Heron' (Pantanal, Brazil).

Family Alcedinidae: Kingfishers

Megaceryle torquata, 'Ringed Kingfisher', (Hotel Pantanal Mato Grosso, the Pantanal, Brazil). Very widespread, from Texas to Tierra del Fuego. 


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