Fawn Kunnemann, G. Frank
The sun bittern (Eurypyga helias) ranges from southern Mexico to southern Peru. It is about 45 ems. in length and in general appearance and movements these elegant birds somewhat resemble herons but, in fact, are much more closely related to rails. The top and sides of the head are black with a white stripe above and below the eyes. The upper part of the body is finely barred grey, brown and olive with slightly paler underparts. The tail is narrowly barred black and white with two broad bands of black and chestnut. When threatened or alarmed their wing display reveals a striking pattern of yellow, black and grey with a central patch of red-orange. The iris is deep red, the upper mandible is dark and the lower mandible is pale orange, as are the feet and legs.