With its unusual name and even more unusual habits, the hoatzin is a clear frontrunner for the title of the world’s most bizarre bird
We left Romero Rainforest Lodge just before sunrise, heading down the Manú River and into the unknown. The sickly-sweet scent of uvos – a mango-like fruit – wafted across the murky waters, hanging heavy in the humid air.
As dawn broke, birds started to appear out of nowhere. Flocks of sand-coloured nighthawks lived up to their name, hawking acrobatically over the surface of the water to seize unseen insects with their broad bills. As the sky began to lighten, they were joined by black skimmers: elegant, tern-like birds whose huge bill is longer at the bottom than the top, as we could see when one kept pace with our speedboat. Overhead, pairs of gaudy blue-and-yellow macaws flew high over the rainforest, as if in slow motion.
Source: Guardian Climate Change