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Oilbird - BirdForum Opus


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Photo by Steve G.
Location: Dunstan Cave, Arima Valley, Trinidad
Steatornis caripensis

Identification

41-48 cm. Reddish-brown with white spots on the nape and wings. Lower parts are cinnamon-buff spotted with white. The stiff tail feathers are a rich brown spotted with white on either side.

Distribution

Guyana, Trinidad, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.

Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species.

Habitat

Forests.

Behaviour

Nocturnal.

Diet includes the fruit of the Oil Palm and tropical laurels; this is the only nocturnal fruit-eating bird.

The nest is a heap of droppings, usually above water. Two-four glossy white eggs are laid.

Although the Oilbird forages by smell or sight, it is one of only a few birds known to navigate by echolocation in sufficiently poor light conditions, using a series of sharp audible clicks for this purpose.

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