Family Hoatzin (Opisthocomidae)

Least Concern

Hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin)


French: Hoazin huppé German: Hoatzin Spanish: Hoazín

Phasianus Hoazin

Statius Müller

, 1776,





E of Andes: Colombia, Venezuela and the Guianas S to Ecuador, Peru, N & C Brazil and Bolivia.

Descriptive notes

62–70 cm; 695–900 g. Unmistakable. Above dark brown with olive reflections and large white streaks; head rufous with long, narrow, erectile crest below pale buff... read more


Utters a wheezing "hiss" in defence of nest or young, while contact calls (which may be... read more


Confined to arboreal vegetation bordering lowland waterways in Neotropics, typically alongside... read more

Food and feeding

Near-obligate folivore; the only bird species known with foregut microbial fermentation, similar to that of ruminants; lengthy digestion of... read more


Nests in rainy season, dates varying with locality, e.g. Dec–Jul in NE Ecuador. Monogamous pairs with up to six helpers (but... read more


Highly sedentary; adults do not swim, walk or hop, and have weak flight abilities. During dry... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widespread in suitable habitat, but very patchily distributed; still locally numerous, but little information available on status... read more

Recommended citation

Thomas, B.T., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 22 January 2020).