Definition of sunbittern in English:


(also sun bittern)


  • A tropical American wading bird with a long bill, neck, and legs, having mainly grayish plumage but showing chestnut and orange on the wings when they are spread in display.

    • ‘Entire avian families, including cotingas, manakins, toucans, and ground antbirds, are essentially confined to the Neotropics, as are such unique species as screamers, trumpeters, sunbittern, hoatzin, and boat-billed heron.’
    • ‘This is a great opportunity to see herons, cormorants, kingfishers and sunbitterns.’
    • ‘The sunbittern is an elegant bird, with a long bill, slender neck and long legs.’
    • ‘Because sunbitterns are exceptionally good at catching flies and spiders, sunbittern chicks are sometimes taken from their nests and raised as pets.’
    • ‘After breakfast, we board excursion boats and spend the day exploring this flooded realm, seeing wading birds such as white-necked and black-capped herons, wattled jacanas and sunbitterns.’


Late 19th century: so named because the pattern on the spread wings resembles a sunset.