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Oilbird Video Stock Footage

This is a large, slim bird at 40–49 cm (16–19 in), with a wing span of 95 cm (37 in). It has a flattened, powerfully hooked, bill surrounded by deep chestnut rictal bristles up to 5 centimetres (2.0 in) long. The adult weighs 350–475 g (12.3–16.8 oz) but the chicks can weigh considerably more, at up to 600 grams (21 oz), when their parents feed them a good deal of fruit before they fly. The feathers of the oilbird are soft like those of many nightbirds, but not as soft as those of owls or nightjars, as they do not need to be silent like predatory species. The oilbird is mainly reddish-brown with white spots on the nape and wings. Lower parts are cinnamon-buff with white diamond-shaped spots edged in black, these spots start small towards the throat and get larger towards the back. The stiff tail feathers are a rich brown spotted with white on either side. The feet are small and almost useless, other than for clinging to vertical surfaces. The long wings have evolved to make it capable of hovering and twisting flight, which enables it to navigate through restricted areas of its caves. For example, the wings have deep wingtip slotting, like New World vultures, to reduce the stalling speed, and the wings have a low aspect ratio and low wing-loading, all to make the oilbird capable of flying at low speeds. The eyes of oilbirds are highly adapted to nocturnal foraging. The eyes are small, but the pupils are relatively large, allowing t...

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Animalia: Chordata: Caprimulgiformes: Aves: Steatornithidae: Steatornis caripensis

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