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Sharpbill: Oxyruncidae

Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And ReproductionGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, SHARPBILLS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

The range of the sharpbill is unusual, because it is discontinuous, or broken. Sharpbills are found in isolated patches throughout Central and South America. They live year round in parts of Costa Rica and Panama, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. The broken up nature of their range suggests that at one time they may have been found over a much greater, continuous area.

Sharpbills are of interest mainly to ornithologists and birdwatchers.

To feed, the sharpbill forces its pointed bill into fruit, tightly rolled leaves, or moss growing on a tree. It then forces its bill apart and collects seeds or insects from inside the fruit, leaves, or moss. (Illustration by Bruce Worden. Reproduced by permission.)

Not enough is known about these birds to determine their conservation status. However, the broken up nature of their range suggests that they once were found in a wider area than they are today.



Hilty, Steven L. Birds of Venezuela. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003.

Ridgley, Robert S., and Guy Tudor. The Birds of South America. Vol. 2, The Suboscine Passerines. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1994.


Brooke, M., D. Scott, and D. Teixeira. "Some Observations Made at the First Recorded Nest of the Sharpbill Oxyruncus cristatus." Ibis (1983): 259–261.

Web sites:

"Birds Mammals and Amphibians of Latin America." NatureServe. http://www.natureserve.org/infonatura (accessed on May 4, 2004).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirds