|Male Andean cock-of-the-rock|
The cocks-of-the-rock, which compose the genus Rupicola, are large cotingid birds native to South America. They are found in tropical and subtropical rainforests close to rocky areas, where they build their nests. The genus is composed of only two known extant species: the Andean cock-of-the-rock and the smaller Guianan cock-of-the-rock. The Andean cock-of-the-rock is the national bird of Peru.
Both known species exhibit sexual dimorphism: the males are magnificent birds, not only because of their bright orange or red colors, but also because of their very prominent fan-shaped crests. Like some other cotingids, they have a complex courtship behaviour, performing impressive lek displays. The females are overall brownish with hints of the brilliant colors of the males. Females build nests on rocky cliffs or large boulders, and raise the young on their own. They usually lay two eggs.
Except during the mating season, these birds are wary animals and difficult to see in the rainforest canopy. They primarily feed on fruits and berries and may be important dispersal agents for rainforest seeds.
- Andean Cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruvianus), by Alfredo Begazo and Jessica Farrow-Johnson; in Neotropical Birds Online at the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology; published 2012; retrieved January 26, 2014
- Ecology of the Cock-of-the-Rock, by Haemig PD (2012) ECOLOGY.INFO 1 retrieved January 26, 2014
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