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Eurypygidae - Sunbittern



 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Aves
 Order: Gruiformes
 Family: Eurypygidae

Sunbittern There is one species in this family. The sunbittern lives from Mexico to Brazil in woodland swamps and forests.

It is about 18 inches in length and has a long, straight bill; a long, skinny neck; a long, pointed tail; and medium length legs. It has mottled plumage that helps to keep it camouflaged.

Its most unusual feature is the large "eyespots" on its wings that are only visible when its wings are open. It uses these eyespots to startle prey! It also uses its wings during courtship to attract a mate. Male and female sunbitterns perform a courtship dance with their tails and wings spread open. Both the male and female build a dome-shaped nest in a tree and incubate the eggs and care for the chicks.

The sunbittern eats amphibians, fish, crustaceans, and insects. It wades in shallow water and stabs it prey with its sharp bill.

galleryEurypygidae Photo Gallery

World Status Key
Least ConcernLeast Concern Near ThreatenedNear Threatened VulnerableVulnerable EndangeredEndangered Critically EndangeredCritically Endangered extinct in the wildExtinct Wild extinctExtinct
Status taken from ICUN Redlist. If no status is listed, there is not enough data to establish status.

US Status Key
Threatened in US Threatened in US Threatened in New Hampshire Threatened in NH Endangered in US Endangered in US Endangered in NH Endangered in NH Introduced Introduced
Status taken from US Fish and Wildlife and NH Fish and Game

  New Hampshire Species


 North/Central American Species

None   Sunbittern - Eurypyga helias Least Concern

Other Species Around the World

Africa Africa Asia Asia Australia Australia/Oceania Europe Europe North America North America South America South America New Hampshire Species NH

Sunbittern - Eurypyga helias Least Concern North America South America


Additional Information

Key: profile Profile Photos Photos Video Video Audio Audio

Sunbittern - Eurypyga helias profile Photos Least Concern North America South America
The sunbittern’s flight is light and graceful with slow wing beats.