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Encyclopedia > Oilbird
?Oilbird
Conservation status: Least concern
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Caprimulgiformes
Family: Steatornithidae
Bonaparte, 1842
Genus: Steatornis
Species: S. caripensis
Binomial name
Steatornis caripensis
Humboldt, 1817

The Oilbird (Steatornis caripensis) is a slim, long-winged bird related to the nightjars. It is sufficiently distinctive to be placed in a family and suborder (Steatornithes) of its own. It is found in the northern areas of South America from northwestern Colombia and the island of Trinidad to eastern Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia in forests and woodland with caves. It is a seasonal migrant, moving from its breeding caves in search of fruit trees. It has occurred as a rare vagrant to Costa Rica, Panama and Aruba. The conservation status of a species is an indicator of the likelihood of that species continuing to survive. ... Scientific classification or biological classification is how biologists group and categorize extinct and living species of organisms (as opposed to folk taxonomy). ... Phyla Subregnum Parazoa Porifera (sponges) Subregnum Agnotozoa Placozoa (trichoplax) Orthonectida (orthonectids) Rhombozoa (dicyemids) Subregnum Eumetazoa Radiata (unranked) (radial symmetry) Ctenophora (comb jellies) Cnidaria (coral, jellyfish, anemones) Bilateria (unranked) (bilateral symmetry) Acoelomorpha (basal) Orthonectida (parasitic to flatworms, echinoderms, etc. ... Typical Classes Subphylum Urochordata - Tunicatas Ascidiacea Thaliacea Larvacea Subphylum Cephalochordata - Lancelets Subphylum Myxini - Hagfishes Subphylum Vertebrata - Vertebrates Petromyzontida - Lampreys Placodermi (extinct) Chondrichthyes - Cartilaginous fishes Acanthodii (extinct) Actinopterygii - Ray-finned fishes Actinistia - Coelacanths Dipnoi - Lungfishes Amphibia - Amphibians Reptilia - Reptiles Aves - Birds Mammalia - Mammals Chordates (phylum Chordata) include the vertebrates, together with... Orders Many - see section below. ... Families Steatornithidae Podargidae Aegothelidae Nyctibiidae Caprimulgidae The Caprimulgiformes is an order of birds that includes the cosmopolitan nightjars, the frogmouths of Australasia and Southeast Asia, the South American potoos and Oilbird, and the Australasian owlet-nightjars. ... Charles Lucien Jules Laurent Bonaparte (May 24, 1803 – July 29, 1857) was a French naturalist and ornithologist. ... In biology, binomial nomenclature is the formal method of naming species. ... An 1859 portrait of Alexander von Humboldt by the artist Julius Schrader, showing Mount Chimborazo in the background. ... Genera Nyctiprogne Podager Lurocalis Chordeiles Nyctidromus Phalaenoptilus Siphonorhis Nyctiphrynus Caprimulgus Macrodipteryx Hydropsalis Uropsalis Macropsalis Eleothreptus Eurostopodus Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds with long wings, short legs and very short bills that usually nest on the ground. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... Trinidad (Spanish, Trinity) is the largest and most populous of the 23 islands which make up the country of Trinidad and Tobago. ... // Long-distance land bird migration Many species of land migratory birds migrate very long distances, the most common pattern being for birds to breed in the temperate or arctic northern hemisphere and winter in warmer regions, often in the tropics or the temperate zones of the southern hemisphere. ...


This nocturnal species, uniquely, is a specialist feeder on the fruit of the Oil Palm and tropical laurels. All the other nightjars and their relatives are insectivores. Species Elaeis guineensis Elaeis oleifera The oil palms (Elaeis) coomprise two species of the Arecaceae, or palm family. ... Genera Many; see text The Lauraceae or Laurel family comprises a group of flowering plants included in the order Laurales. ... Any organism with a diet that consists chiefly of insects and similar small creatures is an insectivore. ...


The Oilbird's feet are small and almost useless, other than for clinging to vertical surfaces. However, it is capable of hovering and twisting flight, which enables it to navigate through restricted areas of its caves.


This is a large bird at 41-48 cm. with a hooked bill and stiff tail feathers. it is mainly reddish-brown with white spots on the nape and wings.


During the day these gregarious birds rest on cave ledges. The nest is a heap of droppings, on which 2-4 white eggs are laid. The squabs become very fat before fledging, weighing up to half again as much as the adult birds do. They used to be harvested and rendered for oil, whence the name "oilbird".

Cueva del Guácharo (a man is standing in the cave mouth)
Cueva del Guácharo
(a man is standing in the cave mouth)

Although the Oilbird forages by sight, it is one of only a few birds, and the only nocturnal one, known to navigate by echolocation in sufficiently poor light conditions, using a sharp click for this purpose. It also produces a variety of harsh screams while in its caves. Entering a cave with a light especially provokes these raucous calls; they also may be heard as the birds prepare to emerge from a cave at dusk. Image File history File links CuevaDelGuacharo. ... Echolocation, also called Biosonar, is the biological sonar used by several mammals such as bats, dolphins and whales. ...


The oilbird is called a "guácharo" or "tayo" in Spanish, both terms being of indigenous origin. The "Cueva del Guácharo" (Oilbird Cave), in the mountainous Caripe district of northern Monagas, Venezuela, is where Alexander von Humboldt first studied the species. The caripensis of the binomial name means "of Caripe", and Steatornis means "fat bird", in reference to the fatness of the squabs. Caripe is the name of a town and municipality in the mountainous north of the state of Monagas in eastern Venezuela. ... Estado Monagas is one of the 23 states (estados) into which Venezuela is divided. ... An 1859 portrait of Alexander von Humboldt by the artist Julius Schrader, showing Mount Chimborazo in the background. ...


The "Cueva del Guácharo" was Venezuela's first national monument, and is the centerpiece of a national park; according to some estimates there may be 15,000 or more birds living there. Colombia also has a national park named after its "Cueva de los Guácharos", near the southern border with Ecuador. Oilbirds have been reported in various other places along the Andean mountain chain and in Brazil: they are known to dwell as far south as the Carrasco National Park in Bolivia. Dunstan Cave, at the Asa Wright Nature Centre in Trinidad, is home to about 200 nesting pairs of oilbirds. The Andes between Chile and Argentina The Andes form the longest mountain chain in the world. ... The Asa Wright Nature Centre and Lodge consists of a nature resort and scientific research station located in the Arima Valley of the Northern Range in Trinidad and Tobago. ... Trinidad (Spanish, Trinity) is the largest and most populous of the 23 islands which make up the country of Trinidad and Tobago. ...


References

  • BirdLife International (2004). Steatornis caripensis. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  • ffrench, Birds of Trinidad and Tobago ISBN 0-7136-6759-1
  • Hilty, Birds of Venezuela, ISBN 0-7136-6418-5
  • Stiles and Skutch, A guide to the birds of Costa Rica ISBN 0-0814-9600-4

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List and Red Data List), created in 1963, is the worlds most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species. ... The World Conservation Union or International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is an international organization dedicated to natural resource conservation. ...

External links

  • Cueva del Guácharo (ShowCaves)
  • Colombia's "Cueva de los Guácharos" National Park
  • Oilbird videos on the Internet Bird Collection
  • The oilbird's visual acuity.

  Results from FactBites:
 
AllRefer.com - oilbird (Vertebrate Zoology) - Encyclopedia (361 words)
Oilbirds, also called guacheros [Sp.,=one who cries], are found throughout N South America and on the island of Trinidad.
In the past, baby oilbirds were captured, and their fat boiled down for torch oil, hence their name.
Oilbirds are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Caprimulgiformes, family Steatornithidae.
Oilbird - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (543 words)
The Oilbird (Steatornis caripensis) is a slim, long-winged bird related to the nightjars.
Although the Oilbird forages by sight, it is one of only a few birds, and the only nocturnal one, known to navigate by echolocation in sufficiently poor light conditions, using a sharp click for this purpose.
Oilbirds have been reported in various other places along the Andean mountain chain and in Brazil: they are known to dwell as far south as the Carrasco National Park in Bolivia.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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