The herons and egrets are wading birds with long necks and spear-like beaks. These birds possess powder down—feathers which grow continually and crumble into talc. This process is used to clean fish oils from their feathers.
Distribution: Forests and wetlands of southern Mexico, Central America and northern South America, especially in the Amazon Basin
Diet in the Wild: Fish, amphibians, crustaceans, insects
Diet at Caldwell Zoo: Ground fish, bird of prey diet, dog chow, soft-billed bird fare and vitamins
IUCN Red List Status: Least concern, population decreasing
Threats: Habitat destruction, hunting and trapping
The boat-billed heron does not only vocalize to communicate. It can also snap its broad beak together repeatedly to create “popping” sounds.
Adults and juveniles of this species look markedly different. Adults have a notable crest, white feathers on their forehead and throat, gray feathers on their wings and back and reddish-brown feathers on their breast. Juveniles lack a crest, have brown feathers on their back and wings and brownish-white feathers on their breast.