Large, dumpy bird found around lake edges and slow-moving streams. Head looks too small for its large brown body. Its orange mohawk, blue facial skin, and stubby bill make this bird extremely distinctive. Usually found in groups or pairs. Moves clumsily around waterside vegetation, making loud huffing noises.
Click for other names
Other common names
also known as the reptile bird, skunk bird, stinkbird, or Canje pheasant
For decades ornithologists have debated the relationships of this unique South American bird: at various times the Hoatzin has been thought to be related to Galliformes (cracids and relatives) or to Cuculiformes (cuckoos and relatives), but to date the Hoatzin has defied easy classification.
It is the only member of the genusOpisthocomus (Ancient Greek: "long hair behind", referring to its large crest). This is the only extant genus in the familyOpisthocomidae. The taxonomic position of this family has been greatly debated by specialists, and is still far from clear.
Similar and related species
^BirdLife International (2009). Opisthocomus hoazin. In: IUCN 2009. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 12 August 2011.
^Billerman, S. M. (2020). Hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman, B. K. Keeney, P. G. Rodewald, and T. S. Schulenberg, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.hoatzi1.01