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Boat-billed Heron (Cochlearius cochlearius), Nationalpark Tortuguero, Costa Rica
The Boat-billed Heron is an atypical member of the heron family. It lives in mangrove swamps from Mexico south to Peru and Brazil. It is a nocturnal bird, and breeds semi-colonially in mangrove trees, laying 2-4 bluish white eggs in a twig nest.
The massive broad scoop-like bill, which gives rise to this species' name, is mainly black. Immature birds have mainly brown upperparts and brown-tinged whitish underparts, and lack the crest.
This species feeds on fish, mice, water snakes, eggs, crustaceans, insects and amphibians. Its calls include a deep croak and a high-pitched pee-pee-pee.