- Often known to residents of the region it inhabits as the guácharo, the amazing Oilbird represents a most unusual variety of avian.
- Firstly, this small but nonetheless impressive animal typically nests in caves, and most commonly in large colonies.
- Second, it actually flies and feeds exclusively at night. Its primary food consists of the fruits of several indigenous plant species.
- Yet another unique trait distinguishing it from other avians is the fact that it remains one of the few birds to navigate using echolocation.
- In addition, it represents the only known fruit-eating bird on Earth capable of flight, since the Kakapo cannot fly.
- Finally, for the moment its numbers, fortunately, remain sufficient that the IUCN lists it as a Species of Least Concern.
Oilbird Physical Description
The distinctive Oilbird ranks as a moderately large type of avian that also displays no discernible degree of sexual dimorphism.
This generally slender bird attains an average body length of 16-19 in (40 -49 cm), and also an average wingspan of about 37 in (95 cm).
The comparatively soft feathers most commonly display a reddish-brown on the upper part, yet white spots often appear on the wings and nape.
Meanwhile, the lower parts typically present a dark cinnamon color, with scattered unique white diamond shapes edged in black being present.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Caprimulgiformes
- Family: Steatornithidae
- Genus: Steatornis
- Species: S. caripensis
Oilbird Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The rather fascinating Oilbird has a moderately large habitat range. This covers the northern portions of South
However, the animal has extremely specific habitat requirements, which greatly limits where it can live, making for scattered concentrations.
It needs forests containing both plentiful numbers of fruit-bearing trees and plants, and in addition, caves for roosting and breeding.
However, it does remain adaptable to varying elevations, as it can be found inhabiting altitudes ranging from sea level to as much as 11,200 ft (3,400 m).
Finally, many of its known populations happen to inhabit areas that have been designated as national parks, providing it some protection.