Physical Characteristics

The hoatzin (watt-ZEEN) is a medium-size bird measuring 24.5 to 27.5 inches (62 to 70 centimeters) and weighing 1.4 to 1.9 pounds (650 to 850 grams). Its face is bright blue and without feathers. It has thick eyelashes above bright red eyes. The bill is short and gray. The head is topped by a fan-shaped crest of long feathers that resembles a punk haircut. Neck is long and buff colored, as is the tip of the tail. Underparts are chestnut colored, upperparts are bronze and olive.

Very young hoatzins have two claws on each wing. These claws allow them to climb back up to the nests if they have been forced by predators to suddenly vacate the nest to seek shelter.

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