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Hoatzin: Opisthocomiformes

Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And ReproductionGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, HOATZINS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

Hoatzins are found in South America.


Hoatzins live in vegetation bordering water such as swamps, lakes, lagoons, streams, and rivers. Large populations can be found along the Amazon and Orinoco River systems. Hoatzins never live in altitudes above 1,640 feet (500 meters).


The local name given to this bird in Guyana is "stinking pheasant" because the strong odor of the hoatzin is similar to the smell of cow manure. The odor comes from the fatty acids in the crop. The odor prevents the hoatzin from being hunted for its meat, but hoatzin eggs are consumed by some local populations. The meat is used for bait, and feathers are used to make fans. Locals in the Amazon make a soup from the hoatzin to help relieve asthma.


Hoatzins are not threatened. However, conservationists are concerned over the loss of habitat due to industrial pollution and the conversion of land for agricultural use.


FOR MORE INFORMATION

Periodicals:

Brown, Nancy Marie. "What's a Hoatzin?" Research/Penn State 27, no. 2 (June 1996). Online at http://www.rps.psu.edu/jun96/hoatzin.html (accessed on June 11, 2004).

Zahler, Peter. "Crazy Like a Hoatzin." International Wildlife Magazine (July/August 1997). Online at http://www.nwf.org/internationalwildlife/hoatzin.html (accessed on June 11, 2004).


Web sites:

"Ecotourism is Stressing Animals to Death." Cooltech. http://cooltech.iafrica.com/science/308057.htm (accessed on June 14, 2004).

Grosset, Arthur. "Hoatzin." http://www.arthurgrosset.com/sabirds/hoatzin.html (accessed on June 11, 2004).

Payne, Robert B. "Recent Families, Birds of the World." University of Michigan, Museum of Zoology. http://www.ummz.lsa.umich.edu/birds/Bird_Families_of_the_World.html (accessed on June 11, 2004).

Rainforest Conservation Fund. http://www.rainforestconservation.org (accessed on July 13, 2004).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirds