Long thought to belong to a family all its own, this unique-looking, rather nocturnal bird has been reclassified as a member of the heron family. Dwelling in mangrove swamps from Mexico down to Peru and Brazil, it uses its strange beak to advantage, consuming a broad range of small animals. It thrives and breeds well in captivity, including the DWA.
Specializing in crayfish, crabs, and other crustaceans, this small heron has gourmet tastes. Once considered a rather tropical bird, it has expanded its North American range in recent years to the north and west. It is also found throughout Central and South America. It has nested repeatedly in this exhibit, performing courtship displays and raising chicks.