Saved from Extinction: The Bicudo and the Curio


Two of the best song birds in the world are the Bicudo Oryzoborus crassiorostris maximiliani and the Curio Oryzoborns angolensis. Both are native to Brazil and live in the proximity of rivers and lakes. Both birds were fo1merly found in almost all the states through- out the country of Brazil.

Their exact numbers are unknown however, the Curios are more plentiful in the wild than the Bicudos, which are extremely rare and almost extinct. The song of the Bicudo is com pared to the sound of the flute and the Curio's song is compared to the violin. The Bicudo is about 15 em (6 in.) long and both the male and female are born brown in color. Only the male's feath- ers will turn a cobalt black color with white feathers at the tip of its wings. Likewise, only the male Bicudo sings and will start singing at an early stage even while its feathers are still brown. 

The Curio is about 11 em ( 4~1, in.) long. Both the male and female are horn brown in color, but the female will remain brown throughout her life and rarely sings. The male will begin singing at an early age, but as an adult its chest and stomach feathers turn to a rich, wine color and the feathers on its taiL back, head and neck turn black with a few white feathers at the tips of its wings. Their food in the wild consists mainly of seeds and insects. 

The causes of these birds' near extinction in the wild are: being captured in large numbers by illegal smugglers and dealers; destruction of their natur- al habitats; deadly insecticides used in agriculture; and natural predators.