Sungrebe (Heliornis fulica)


[order] Gruiformes | [family] Helionithidae | [latin] Heliornis fulica | [UK] Sungrebe | [FR] Grebifoulque d’Amerique | [DE] Zwergbinsenralle | [ES] Avesol Americano | [IT] Svasso del sole | [NL] Kleine Fuutkoet


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Himantornis fulica
Heliornis fulica
Heliornis fulica LA se Mexico to ne Argentina

Physical charateristics

The Sungrebe is a small slim-bodied water bird, typically 28-31 cm long and weighing 130 g. It is mainly brown, with a long neck and blackish tail, and a long red bill. The crown and neck are strikingly patterned with black and white stripe, and the feet are black and yellow. The sexes differ in the colour of the cheeks, buff in the female and white for the male.

Listen to the sound of Sungrebe


Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: cm wingspan max.: cm
size min.: 26 cm size max.: 32 cm
incubation min.: 10 days incubation max.: 12 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 4  


Found in Central and South America, South to peru, Bolivia and Northern Argentina. In Suriname not uncommon in streams, rivers and ponds or even wet overgrown coffee plantations.


Forest streams and rivers, mostly in backwater. Also lakes and ponds with thick overhanging vegetation


The twig nest is built low in a bush over water; three or four brown-mottled cinnamon eggs are laid, and incubated for about eleven days. The hiarless are carried around by the adults in special skin pockets beneath the wings.

Feeding habits

Diet consists of invertebrates, insects and seeds taken from water and vegetation.


This species has a large range, with an estimated global extent of occurrence of 8,800,000 km2. The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population size criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., less than 10,000 mature individuals in conjunction with appropriate decline rates and subpopulation qualifiers), even though the species is described as ‘uncommon’ in at least parts of its range (Stotz et al. 1996). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Sungrebe status Least Concern


Presumed sedentary

Distribution map

Sungrebe range map


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