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Oilbird: Steatornithidae

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

Oilbirds live mainly in South America and are found in the countries of Guyana, Trinidad, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, and Bolivia. Oilbirds also range in the Central American countries of Costa Rica and Panama, and the islands of Tobago and Aruba.


Oilbirds live in caves along coasts and in the mountains. Birds make their homes in areas near coniferous or evergreen forests¸ where trees do not undergo seasonal changes. While generally found in caves, oilbirds also live inside gorges, deep, narrow areas.


Oilbirds were once hunted as food or a source of oil. In the twenty-first century, the birds are legally protected in many countries, which means that it is against the law to injure or kill oilbirds in those nations. Furthermore, oilbirds are a tourist attraction. People vacation and visit oilbird caves in places like Caribe, Venezuela, and Trinidad.


Oilbirds are not in danger of extinction, dying out. However, they may become endangered if forests are cut down, since trees provide the only source of food for these fruit-eating birds.


FOR MORE INFORMATION

Web sites:

"Oilbirds." Asa Wright Nature Centre & Lodge. http://www.asawright.org/nature/oilbirds.html (accessed on June 1, 2004).

Querna, Betsy. "Native Son Captures Beauty of Trinidad's 'Eden.'" National Geographic Today. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/05/0508_trinidadphotographer.html (accessed on June 1, 2004).

Thomas, Betsy T. "Family STEATORNITHIDAE (OILBIRD)" Handbook of the Birds of the World. Online at http://www.hbw.com/hbw/volume5/famil501.html (accessed on June 1, 2004).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirds