This nocturnal species is a specialist feeder on the fruit of the Oil Palm and of tropical laurels. Undigested seeds pass through the digestive tracts of these birds -some even germinate within the roosting cave. Almost the size of a large Gull these substantial birds hover whilst plucking fruit off trees. Rather uniquely they also use a form of echo-location (just like bats) to negotiate their pitch black roosting caves. During the day these gregarious birds rest on cave ledges. The nest is a heap of droppings, usually above water (either a stream or even the sea). The Young become very fat before fledging, weighing up to half again as much as the adult birds do. In times past the Amerindians of Venezuela harvested the almost-fledged young which were killed & rendered by boiling to yield oil for lamps & cooking. The generic name Steatornis
translates as "fat bird" referring to the oil-rich squabs (young).