A Copán Pterosaur?
"Copán is the southern most of the ancient cities of the vast Mayan civilization that flourished in The Classic Period of 300 to 900 AD." There are literally hundreds and perhaps thousands of varieties of pterosaurs and/or pteranodons that existed or exist in the world.
We can't be sure exactly which of the many South American types this actually represents (if we're correct) but we don't believe as the Copan Sculpture Museum does, that this is in fact a "bird".
We believe it is a type of flying reptile believed by science to have been extinct for millions of years. As you know, science does not know exactly how any of the dinosaurs actually looked and this is true of the pterosauria as well.
Note that this specimen has a characteristic notch on his bill as did many long billed pterosauria. Some birds also have this notch, however including some pelicans. Pterosaurs are thought to have eaten fish as this specimen also appears to be enjoying. As usual, it's up to you to decide if the evidence convinces you or leaves you unconvinced....s8int.com
Copan Sculpture Museum January 9, 2004
"Carved from a single block of stone, this sculpture depicts the storm god Chaak in a particularly snake-like form, with upturned snout and sharp tooth. With a great bird rearing back, fish in mouth, to form the headdress, this figure can be identified as a particular version or aspect of Chaak dubbed GI (one), of the Palenque Triad Gods.
This god was especially important at the city of Palenque, where he was impersonated by kings on a number of monuments."
Mary Miller & Simon Martin, Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya, p. 74
"The first evidence of these reptiles came to light in 1971, when footprints were discovered in Mexico. These creatures had a wing span of 9 – 10 metres. Since then, bone fragments have been found in Jordan, Israel and Brazil.
Pterosaurs died out about 65 million years ago. ‘We rely on these fossils to help understand evolution, as there are no descendants,’ said Dr. Martill. Only 3 eggs have been discovered; 2 in China and one in Argentina".... Laura Bach. Source of: Loveridge 2003 Drawing is Simon Clabby's Dinosaurs of the Isle of Wight Site
“Pterosaurs were an order of flying reptiles that lived during the time of the dinosaurs. The pterosaurs ranged in size from a few inches to over 40 feet. They had hollow bones, were lightly built, and had small bodies.
They had large brains and good eyesight. Some pterosaurs had fur on their bodies, and some (like Pteranodon) had light-weight, bony crests on their heads that may have acted as a rudder when flying, or may have been a sexual characteristic.
Pterosaurs were carnivores; they ate fish (which they caught at the surface of the oceans), mollusks, crabs, perhaps plankton (for some species), insects, and scavenged dead animals on land.” Enchanted Learning.com
Long billed pterosauria.
Copan sculpture photos, Copyright: Copan Sculpture Museum, Honduras. Source: MayaRuins.com