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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 14:04 EDT

Sunbittern

The Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias) is a species of bird found in the tropical regions of the Americas. Its habitat is wooded streams or creeks at elevations of up to 3000 feet. This bird is a close relative to the Kagu and both species are considered a sister group of the swifts, nightjars and hummingbirds.

The coloration of this bird is subdued with fine linear patterns of black, gray and brown. Its flight feathers have vivid-colored middle webs. When wings are fully displayed, they show bright eyespots in red, yellow and black. These eyespots are shown to other sunbitterns in courtship and threat displays. They are also shown to startle potential predators. Like some other birds, sunbitterns have powder down.

The nest is a dome built in a tree. The female lays two eggs with blotched marking. The young are born precocial (able to move about freely), but remain in the nest for several weeks after hatching.

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Sunbittern