About the Hoatzin

Eight out of nine visitors to our tour to Manu National Park and Tambopata come to this fun bird!

The strange Hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin) is not as pretty as toucans, thongs and macaws. In fact, he wins the prize for the strangest bird in the Amazon. Almost as big as a turkey, the Hoatzin spends his time lounging around the ox lakes in the Amazon rainforest. It sits on shrubs and small trees that grow at the edge of the water and growl. Cut the leaves of the surrounding vegetation.
They don’t pay much attention to people. When they are scared, they make their way awkwardly towards a nearby branch

This strange bird only occurs in the Amazon jungle and has no close relatives. Indeed, its heritage is a constant subject of debate among ornithologists. It has been placed with the cuckoos, turkey-like birds. It was even considered to be some type of ancient prehistoric bird. Studies have indicated that the Hoatzin is not a living fossil. It belongs to an old lineage of birds that may have no close relatives. One recent study of Hoatzin fossils showed that it may even have its origin in Africa and could have reached South America by floating across the Atlantic Ocean on clumps of vegetation!

Whatever the truth may be about its evolutionary history, all guests of the Palotoa Amazon eco-lodges stand a great chance of seeing one.