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Eurypyga helias

Sunbittern are not social birds and are often difficult to locate in the wild.  They are quiet birds but can make quite an unusual mechanical sound.  Sunbitterns catch their prey quickly by using their long neck and sharp beaks.  When a sunbittern spreads its wings it displays eye-like designs, to scare off predators.  The patterns on the wings can also be used for courtship displays, as well as a defence mechanism.

Animal class


Conservation status

The IUCN considers the sunbittern not to be in danger of extinction due to abundant numbers.


Forest and near water


It is unknown how many sunbitterns there are in the wild. Populations are not evenly distributed but are locally abundant.


Carnivore. The sunbittern eats fish, amphibians, insects and small crustaceans.