Oilbird - Steatornis caripensis
Steatornis caripensis
Chontal, Pichincha province, Ecuador.
One of the most fascinating of all neotropical birds, the oilbird is a noctural fruit-eating bird that nests and roosts mainly in caves. They use echolocation both while navigating in dark caves and while out foraging at night. These photos were not taken in a cave, but in a very narrow, deep ravine. In the middle of the day here, enough light filters down that you can actually see the birds extraordinarily well. This photo was digiscoped in natural light; no flash was needed. It shows an adult bird with two juvenile birds next to it, presumably its own young. This site is protected by the Morales family and located about an hour and half drive from the Tandayapa area. Please email me if you want more details on how to get there. (D3)

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