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Boat-billed Heron

From Opus

Photo by gritstoneEcocentro Danaus Biological Reserve, Costa Rica, March 2007
Photo by gritstone
Ecocentro Danaus Biological Reserve, Costa Rica, March 2007
Cochlearius cochlearius


[edit] Identification

45โ€“53ยท5 cm

  • Black crown, long crest and upper back
  • White face, throat and breast
  • Rufous lower underparts
  • Black flanks
  • Pale gray wings and lower back
  • Black broad scoop-like bill
Sub-adultPhoto by Steve GPalo Verde, Costa Rica, July 2008
Photo by Steve G
Palo Verde, Costa Rica, July 2008


  • Brown upperparts
  • Brown-tinged whitish underparts
  • No crest

[edit] Distribution

Central and South America. Mexico - ranges from Sinaloa in the west and southern Tamaulipas, south to Panama and northern Colombia and Venezuela, east to the Guianas and north-east Brazil. Occurs throughout Amazonia from Peru eastwards and south to southern Brazil and north-east Argentina.
Probably resident with perhaps some local wandering.

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

Five subspecies recognized[1]:

  • C. c. cochlearius White-breasted:

Darker-breasted races occur further north:

  • C. c. panamensis:
  • C. c. ridgwayi:
  • C. c. phillipsi:
  • C. c. zeledoni:

[edit] Habitat

Swamps, marshes and lakes with dense bushes and trees.

[edit] Behaviour

These are nocturnal birds which roost in large colonies by day but are solitary night hunters.

[edit] Diet

The diet includes fish, shrimps, crustaceans and insects.
The only heron species that catches its prey by scooping rather than spearing.

[edit] Breeding

It builds a twig nest; the clutch consists of 2-4 bluish white eggs.

[edit] Vocalisation

Call: a deep croak and a high-pitched pee-pee-pee.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from
  2. Wikipedia

[edit] External Links


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