National Geographic : 1962 Sep
hoatzins were living in the trees that Maurice leveled with his bulldozer. "As soon as we finished, those birds came back to the very same spot they had occupied before," he declared, "even though the trees were uprooted and dying." "Wasn't there any vegetation left for them to eat?" I asked. "No," said Maurice regretfully. "I tried to chase them off, but they wouldn't leave. They apparently starved to death, though other hoatzins were living in plenty of vegetation no more than a hundred yards away." Here's a bird, we agreed, that is either so primitive or so specialized that it cannot adapt to any abrupt change. It was raining the next morning, and the Abary was almost at flood level. Now the black waters were swirling close to the base of our cabin pilings. Rain, She Use a Rolling Pin "Today she's a woman's rain," Ivan volun teered as he cooked breakfast. "She pound you all day, she in a bad mood. A man's rain is whoosh... then it is through." A particularly violent gust hit us. "Now she is angry," said Ivan. "She beat you with a rolling pin!" Rain or no rain, we took out our binoculars and spotted a hoatzin from the window of our cabin. It was sitting on the nest as im mobile as the Sphinx, raindrops trickling from the end of its beak.