Eurypygiformes – Kagu & sunbittern

Medium-sized, almost flightless ground-living birds of New Caledonia & tropic Americas

Both members of this order are medium-sized, non-migrant birds with intricate plumage patterns. The Kagu is endemic to the forests of New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean, while the Sunbittern is found across the world in large parts of Central and South America.

The Kagu has a distinctive appearance with forward-facing eyes that are useful in spotting small insects and other animals amongst the fallen leaves. The ground-dwelling Kagu is very vulnerable to predators.

Sunbitterns walk the shady rainforests, stabbing their prey with their slender bills. Unlike their gentle cousins, they hiss loudly and fan out their tails to look big and imposing when threatened.