oilbird


oilbird
/oyl"berrd'/, n.
guacharo.
[1890-95; OIL + BIRD]

* * *

bird
also called  Guácharo 

      (Steatornis caripensis), nocturnal bird of South America that lives in caves and feeds on fruit, mainly the nuts of oil palms. The oilbird is an aberrant member of the order Caprimulgiformes; it comprises the family Steatornithidae. About 30 centimetres (12 inches) long, with fanlike tail and long broad wings, it is dark reddish brown, barred with black and spotted with white. It has a strong hook-tipped bill, long bristles around the wide gape, and large dark eyes.

      The oilbird uses echolocation, like a bat, to find its way within the caves where it roosts and nests from Trinidad and Guyana to Bolivia. The sounds the bird emits are within the range of human hearing: bursts of astonishingly rapid clicks (as many as 250 per second). It also utters hair-raising squawks and shrieks that suggested its Spanish name, guácharo (“wailer”). At night it flies out to feed, hovering while it plucks fruit from trees.

      Two to four white eggs are laid on a pad of organic matter on a ledge high up in the cave. The young, which may remain in the nest for 120 days, are fed by regurgitation until they are 70 to 100 percent heavier than adults. Indians render the squabs for an odourless oil for cooking and light; hence the bird's popular and scientific names.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Oilbird — Conservation status Least Concern (IUCN 3.1) …   Wikipedia

  • oilbird — oil bird , n. (Zo[ o]l.) See {Guacharo}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • oilbird — [oil′bʉrd΄] n. GUACHARO …   English World dictionary

  • oilbird — Guacharo Gua*cha ro, n. [Cf. Sp. gu[ a]charo sickly, dropsical, guacharaca a sort of bird.] (Zo[ o]l.) A nocturnal bird of South America and Trinidad ({Steatornis Caripensis}, or {S. steatornis}); called also {oilbird}. [1913 Webster] Note: It… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • oilbird — n. guacharo, large nocturnal bird that feeds on fruit and looks like a nightjar and lives in caves in Central and South America (the young of the oilbird have a layer of fat that yields an oil used instead of butter) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • oilbird — guacharai statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Steatornis angl. oilbird vok. Fettschwalm, m rus. гуахаро, m; жиряк, m pranc. guacharo, m ryšiai: platesnis terminas – guachariniai siauresnis terminas – guacharas …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • oilbird — guacharas statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Steatornis caripensis angl. oilbird vok. Fettschwalm, m rus. гуахаро, m; жиряк, m pranc. guacharo des cavernes, m ryšiai: platesnis terminas – guacharai …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • oilbird — guachariniai statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Steatornithidae angl. oilbird vok. Fettschwalme rus. гуахаро; жиряки pranc. stéatornithidés ryšiai: platesnis terminas – guachariniai paukščiai siauresnis terminas – guacharai …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • oilbird — noun Date: circa 1890 a nocturnal bird (Steatornis caripensis) of northern South America and Trinidad that is related to the nightjars, feeds chiefly on the fatty fruits of various palms, and has fatty young from which an oil used especially in… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • oilbird — noun Steatornis caripensis, a nocturnal South American bird related to the nightjars that feeds on the fruit of the oil palm and tropical laurels …   Wiktionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.