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I've seen a few of these birds at my university located in the extreme south of Brazil.

I noticed they usually stay on wet areas and like to eat small critters, such as worms and young tadpoles (I'm not completely sure about the last one).

I also noticed they usually stay alone in a particular area or, at maximum, two in the same location.

Also, here we also have many Southern Lapwings, which are in the breeding season, and one of them sometimes attacks the bird in the picture (for apparently no reason). When attacked by the Lapwing, this bird bristles the feathers of his neck and just dodges the Lapwing's attacks.

Does someone know what bird is this?

P.S.: Sorry for the bad picture. I couldn't get closer to it.


1 Answer 1


That is Syrigma sibilatrix, the whistling heron. In Brazil we call it "maria-faceira".

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Here is Syrigma sibilatrix page in Wiki Aves ("aves" is birds in Portuguese): http://www.wikiaves.com.br/maria-faceira

Wiki Aves is by far the best source for birds in Brazil. It is a very well documented and reliable source, maintained by great ornithologists.

PS: Regarding the Southern lapwings: they are not really attacking, they are just trying to drive off the intruder. And there is a reason: the lapwings nest on the ground. I was "attacked" by them several times (I'm from the Southern Brazil), when I inadvertently approached their nest.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Maria-Faceira. I laughed hard at this one :P. I'm quite familiar with the behavior of the Lapwings too. I just though a little strange that their offsprings are already quite grown up and the Maria-Faceira isn't too close to them. I guess the Lapwings are just a little short-tempered ^-^ Thanks! $\endgroup$ Nov 12, 2017 at 13:15
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, the lapwings (or "quero-quero") are very short-tempered! $\endgroup$
    – user24284
    Nov 12, 2017 at 13:18
  • $\begingroup$ @PhelypeOleinik What's the meaning of "faceira"? $\endgroup$
    – bli
    Nov 13, 2017 at 18:08
  • $\begingroup$ It's something between 'happy' and 'in a good mood'. For example, when a kid receives a christmas gift and stays happy all day long about it, we say that the kid is "faceira" (nor very usual though). $\endgroup$ Nov 13, 2017 at 18:28
  • $\begingroup$ @PhelypeOleinik do you speak Portuguese? Faceira also means coquettish and flirtatious. $\endgroup$
    – user24284
    Nov 13, 2017 at 21:03

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