Family

CHAPTER

phylum class subclass order monotypic order suborder family

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Seriemas range in size from about 28 to 35 inches (70 to 90 centimeters) in length and 2.6 to 3.3 pounds (1.2 to 1.5 kilograms) in weight. They have long legs, long tails, long necks, and short, rounded wings. Seriemas have sturdy, hooked bills that resemble those of hawks. Their backs and necks are light brown in color, whereas the belly is pale or white. Male and female seriemas are similar in size and general appearance.

GEOGRAPHIC RANGE

Seriemas are found in central and eastern South America, from portions of Brazil to as far south as Argentina.

HABITAT

Seriemas are found in grassland habitats as well as areas of open forest or brushland.

DIET

Seriemas are omnivorous, meaning that they eat both plant and animal matter. They hunt a wide variety of prey, including small animals such as insects, snails, and worms, as well as larger animals such as rodents, snakes, and lizards. These birds frequently smash medium-sized prey, such as rodents, against rocks to make them easier to swallow whole. They tear larger prey into smaller pieces using their strong, sharp bills. Seriemas hunt during the day by stalking, or quietly following, potential prey. They will also eat some fruit and other plant matter.

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