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Re: bird with claws on wings

> You're thinking of the Hoatzin, but there's actually a surprising 
> number of other birds that retain claws on the wings according to 
> Fisher (1940). I think the big deal about Hoatzin chicks is that they 
> actually use their claws for climbing about (albeit very badly).
>  Denver.

An additional reason for the importance and regular reference to hoatzin claws 
is the regularity with which they occur.  That is, all juvenile hoatzins have 
claws.  Most other species of living birds that retain claws only do so in a 
small subset of the population (example: falconiforms).  Some apodiform birds 
seem to retain a single claw regularly (perhaps nearly always), but it's 
usually a single claw and does not have the clear function of hoatzin claws.


--Mike H.