Long-wattled Umbrellabird   1 comment

The Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Cephalopterus penduliger, (Paraguas longipendulo in Spanish) is a bird found in the humid forests of the Chocó of western Ecuador. It is sensitive to habitat destruction, and its large size make it easy to hunt. Furthermore, only a few of the populations live within protected areas, so the bird is now considered vulnerable.

The long-wattled umbrellabird gains its name from the rather bizarre and striking features of the male of the species. The male bird has a large crest, composed of hair-like feathers, extending over the bill, and a long, black feathered wattle hanging from the middle of the chest. The wattle reaches a length of up to 45 centimeters and can be inflated during courtship, when it resembles a large, open pine cone. During flight, it is retracted and held against the chest. The female and juvenile resemble the male but are smaller, and both the crest and wattle are greatly reduced. The long-wattled umbrellabird is usually silent, except during displays, when the male makes a protracted grunting noise, as well as a low-frequency booming call that is audible to humans at a distance of up to one kilometer away.

Their diet is of insects and fruit. Their nest was first seen by scientists in 2003. In breeding season, the males shout a loud call. Long-wattled Umbrellabirds form small leks where males display with their long, pendulous wattle while sounding off with their far-carrying, fog-horn-like call. It is considered globally vulnerable and, mostly due to hunting pressures and habitat destruction is considered endangered within Ecuador.

One response to “Long-wattled Umbrellabird

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  1. Pingback: Long-wattled Umbrellabird | Long Distance Inc

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