Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And ReproductionGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, SUNBITTERNS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS
Sunbitterns are found in the New World tropics in Central America and South America. They occupy most of the southern part of Central America south to western Ecuador, and South America east of the Andes Mountains through the Amazonian portions of Colombia, Venezuela, and Guineas, as well as portions of Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru.
Sunbitterns prefer forested habitats near permanent water sources. These include fast-flowing mountain streams, slow-flowing rivers, pond areas, and swamps. Sunbitterns are generally found at altitudes between 300 and 4,000 feet (100 to 1,200 meters) although they have been seen at higher elevations as well.
Because sunbitterns are exceptionally good at catching flies and spiders, sunbittern chicks are sometimes taken from their nests and raised as pets. The birds are also hunted occasionally.
The sunbittern is not considered threatened at this time. However, their populations are declining in many parts of their range due to habitat damage and destruction.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott, and J. Sargatal, eds. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 3, Hoatzin to Auks. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, 1996.
Perrins, Christopher, ed. Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books, 2003.
"Eurypygidae (Sunbittern)." The Internet Bird Collection. http://www.hbw.com/ibc/phtml/familia.phtml?idFamilia=49 (accessed on April 28, 2004).
"Family Eurypygidae (Sunbittern)." Animal Diversity Web. http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/classification/Eurypygidae.html#Eurypygidae (accessed on April 28, 2004).
"Sun-bittern." Bird Families of the World, Cornell University. http://www.es.cornell.edu/winkler/botw/eurypygidae.html (accessed on April 28, 2004).
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