The Boat-billed Heron Cochlearius cochlearius, or arapapá in Portuguese, is one of the more mysterious bird species present at REGUA. Records over the years have been very few and far between, with only occasional sightings of roosting birds from the replanted forest around the wetland.
But for the last three years birds have been arriving at REGUA in the beginning of December and breeding has been suspected. Then on 2nd December Adilei found 12 nests at the wetland in the ten year old replanted forest close to Amanda’s Hide – the first confirmed nesting of Boat-billed Heron at REGUA.
The nests are made from twigs and lined with feathers and situated 6-8 m above ground, and at the time of writing the chicks are close to fledging.
Boat-billed Heron is widespread throughout Latin America and although numbers are thought to be declining, with such a large range they are classified as Least Concern by the IUCN.
Being a nocturnal species, it is never that easy to see them. But many local birders have recently come to REGUA to photograph these birds and last year Francisco Falcon took this amazing photo of a displaying adult that became a huge success in the local birding world.
In 2012, we captured on camera trap, an adult bird feeding at night along one of the small forest streams that flows into the wetland. Watch the video »