Life Span : 15 to 30 years

Length : 61 to 66 cm

Weight : 700 to 900 grams

Also Known As : the reptile bird, skunk bird, stinkbird, Canje pheasant.

It is national bird of Guyana.   The Hoatzin is a very primitive looking bird that has a close resemblance to some of the earliest bird fossils.  Hoatzins are found in the Amazon and the Orinoco basins in South America. These birds live in riparian forests, swamps, and mangroves. It eats only leaves and fruit (herbivore). Rainy season is its breeding time, although it varies across its range.  It looks beautiful for having a long neck, small head, two functional claws on each wing and blue face with maroon eyes. Its head is topped by a spiky, rufous crest. The bird  live in small colonies laying two or three eggs in a stick nest in a tree hanging over water in seasonally flooded forests. In Brazil, indigenous peoples sometimes collect the eggs for food.  Hoatzin meat is reputed to have a bad taste. When great black hawk attack a Hoatzin nesting colony, the adults fly noisily about, trying to divert the predator’s attention, while the chicks move away from the nest and hide in dense group of bushes or trees. If they are found by hunter they drop into water and swim under the surface to escape, then later use their clawed wings to climb back to the safety of the nest. Hoatzins are rather clumsy birds and they are bad at flying. They mostly hop from branch to branch around the oxbow lakes.