Boatbill


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Boatbill

 

(Cochlearius cochlearius), also boat-billed heron, a bird of the family Cochleariidae of the order Ciconiiformes. The body length is about 50 cm. The broad bill, which measures as much as 5 cm across, has a small hook on the end and resembles an overturned boat. The eyes are large. The plumage is mostly gray and black. The abdomen is brown, and there is a long black tuft on the back of the head. The boatbill is distributed in North and South America, from northern Mexico to northern Argentina. It is sedentary and nocturnal. The bird nests in trees. There are two to four eggs in a clutch; the eggs range from light blue to white with brownish speckles. The boatbill feeds on fish, frogs, small crustaceans, and small rodents. Some scientists classify the boatbill in the family Ardeidae.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.