American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A tropical American wading bird (Cochlearius cochlearius) having a large bill shaped like an inverted boat. Also called boat-billed heron.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A South American bird, Cochlearia (or Cancroma) cochlearia, related to the true herons: so named from the shape and size of the bill, which is very broad and much vaulted. The boatbill is about the size of and somewhat resembles a night-heron (apart from the bill), but is the type of a distinct subfamily, Cancrominœ (which see). Also called
boat-billed heronand savacou.
- n. One of the broadbills, Eurylæmidæ, a group of perching birds characteristic of the Indo-Malayan region; in particular, Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchus. See cut under gaper.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) A wading bird (Cancroma cochlearia) of the tropical parts of South America. Its bill is somewhat like a boat with the keel uppermost.
- n. A perching bird of India, of the genus Eurylaimus.
- n. tropical American heron related to night herons
“W.P. P.rker, in his notes upon the osteology of the balæniceps, this bird recalls the boatbill, the heron, and the adjutant.”
“Bonaparte regards it as intermediate between the pelican and the boatbill.”
“If we listen to Reinhurdt, we must place it, not alongside of the boatbill, but alongside of the African genus Scopus.”
“The nostrils differ in form and position in those two birds, and in the boatbill there exists beneath the lower mandible a dilatable pouch that we do not find in the balæniceps.”
“An osteological examination leads Parker to place the balæniceps near the boatbill, and the present classification is based upon that opinion.”
“The boatbill, says he, is merely a heron provided with a singular bill, which has but little analogy with that of the balæniceps, and not a true resemblance.”
“The curious form of the bill, in fact, explains this comparison with birds belonging to so different groups, and the balæniceps would merit the name of boatbill equally well with the bird so called, since its bill recalls the small fishing boats that we observe keel upward high and dry on our seashores.”
“Verreaux believes that its nearest relative is the adjutant, whose ways it has, and that it represents in this group what the boatbill represents in the heron genus.”
“European spoonbill, and the South American cinereous boatbill.”
“While in quest of these, the blue heron, the large and small brown heron, the boatbill and muscovy duck now and then rise up before you.”
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