Friday, February 18, 2011

In massive contrast to the Agami Heron with its long pointed bill, was the Boat-billed Heron with its large boat-shaped bill.

Boat-billed Heron (c) Richard Brown

We found this fantastic looking heron roosting in a tree, with five others, along a trail at Carara National Park. They are inactive during the day and difficult to see. This is because this species is largely nocturnal, searching for prey along waterways at night. 

They have a diverse diet, feeding on fish, mice, water snakes, eggs, crustaceans, insects and small amphibians. 

Check out the size of its massive eye, which must be an adaptation to help it see at night. The massive eye, in conjunction with a massive scoop-like bill, helps this species to catch prey in lower light levels when precise spearing with a long pointed bill (like that of the Agami Heron) would be difficult.

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