Pairi Daiza Foundation



Caurale soleil - Pairi Daiza

It has a splendid plumage

As the sole member of the Eurypygidae family, the Sun Bittern is indeed a unique bird.

Not so much for its appearance, half rail/half heron, nor for its way of fishing, lying in wait, motionless, for its aquatic prey, catching it with its long beak after an abrupt thrust of its neck.

But rather for its splendid plumage, brown and grey, with black and white spots (which serves as an excellent camouflage) and mainly for its spectacular way of defending itself: in the presence of a competitor or an enemy, the Sun Bitten abruptly spreads its two large curved wings and rears them up against the intruder, thus presenting it with the design of its plumage.

However, this design consists of two great semicircular chestnut brown zones, trimmed with black and a little white: those spots are called “ocelli” (eyes).

By opening its wings that way, it is as if the Sun Bittern reveals two enormous eyes, a tactic which is thought to frighten its enemies and to make them flee.

Caurale soleil - Pairi Daiza
Identity card

A less threatened species

  • Name : Sunbittern
  • Latin name : Eurypyga helias
  • Origin : Central and south America
  • IUCN status : Least concerned
  • Cites : --

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Je parraine le Caurale soleil