Eurypygidae – Sunbittern

Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias) by Lee at Lowry Park Zoo

Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias) by Lee at Lowry Park Zoo

I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts. The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: (Isaiah 14:23-24 KJV)


CLASS – AVES, Order – EURYPYGIFORMES, Family – Eurypygidae – Sunbittern


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Species (1)

Eurypyga
Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias)

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Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias) Left Wing by Lee at Lowry Park Zoo

Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias) Left Wing by Lee at Lowry Park Zoo

The Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias) is a bittern-like bird of tropical regions of the Americas, and the sole member of the family Eurypygidae (sometimes spelled Eurypigidae) and genus Eurypyga. It ranges from Mexico to southern Peru, showing three extant subspecies. The Subbittern show both morphological and molecular similarities with the Kagu (Rhynochetos jubatus) of New Caledonia, indicating an gondwanic origin, being both placed in the clade Eurypygiformes

The bird has a generally subdued coloration, with fine linear patterns of black, grey and brown. Its remiges however have vividly colored middle webs, which with wings fully spread show bright eyespots in red, yellow, and black. These are shown to other sunbitterns in courtship and threat displays, or used to startle potential predators. Male and female adult Sunbitterns have can be differentiated by small differences in the feather patterns of the throat and head. Like some other birds, the Sunbittern has powder down. (Wikipedia with editing)

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