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Jun 29, 2017

World's most bizarre bird?

Photo: The Guardian
(Opisthocomus hoazin)
Stephen Moss, writing in, last week, speculated during a trip to Peru, that the unusually named Hoatzin is clearly a frontrunner for 'The World's Most Bizarre Bird' title, if such a category actually exists anywhere.   Here are the writer's convincing points for consideration.

1. Its unusual name comes from the Nahuatl language of Mexico.
2.  The bird must have been designed by a committee, with a long tail, round wings, a blue face, staring crimson eyes and a Mohican hairdo that would not be out of place on a punk rocker.
3. They are hopeless flyers, but even worse at landing, hopelessly crashing into foliage.
4. Unique amongst birds, young Hoatzins have claws on their wings (a vestige of dinosaur-like beginnings?) to stop them from falling into caiman-infested waters.

My own observation is that front end of the bird seems to have no physiological connection, in appearance and size, to the rear end of the bird.   Stephen Moss observed the Hoatzins in Peru's Manu National Park, which he states is the best place in the world to go birding.   Why?   The park is home to more than 1,000 different kinds of birds!

Please comment if you wish.


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