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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Guianan Cock-of-the-rock: Meet The Bird With A Moon Head

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The Guianan Cock-of-the-rock belongs to the Cock-of-the-rock species and measures about 30 cms in length. This bird weighs around 200-220gms and is found especially near the tropical rainforests. It prefers the rocky outcrops as its habitat.

Guianan Cock-of-the-rock

The male species have a bright orange plumage and a half-moon crest.

The female species have a brown color and are dull when compared to the males. 

It belongs to the genus Rupicola, the same as the Andean Cock-of-the-rock. The Guianan Cock-of-the-rock lives across the forests in the Northern parts ofSouth America. It relies on fruits and can also eat small lizards and snakes.

The Guianan Cock-of-the-rock breeds during January and lays eggs during March. The males have a complex mating behavior that attracts females and is especially seen during the breeding seasons. 

Guianan Cock-of-the-rock

The two sexes live differently except when the females find their partner. The mating succeeds due to several factors which vary from their plumage to the composition of their lek. The females choose their partner by flying down and pecking on the male’s rump. The male initiates the mating immediately.

The Description Of The Guianan Cock-of-the-rock

The bird is stout and has a half-moon crest. It is considered to be sexually dimorphic. The male has a crest more established than the female and is bright orange. The males display a tail that is orange with a black tip, orange wings, an orange bill, and a silky feather that is orange, too. 

Both the sexes have orange skin and legs.

Guianan Cock-of-the-rock

The females are dark-brownish and have a bill that has a yellow tip. The crest is also smaller. The 1-year old juvenile males look just like the females but have tiny orange speckles spread over their bodies. 

Males get their prominent plumage after 3 years. 

The Guianan Cock-of-the-rock is 30 cms long and weighs around 200 gms. 

Taxonomy

The Guianan Cock-of-the-rock was described by Carl Linnaeus to belong to the genus Rupicola. 

Also read: The Rufous-Crested Coquette: An Unique Chubbier Hummingbird

The specific name is derived from “cliff or rock-inhabiting” when translated from Latin. 

Habitat

The Guianan Cock-of-the-rock is found near the Guianan Shield and the Amazonian Forest in Brazil. It prefers to live near rocky places and at heights of around 300-2000 m.

It usually marks its territory. Males dominate on the ground and can stay near the middle strata too. They mark their areas by removing debris, which is termed as a “court”. The quality of the court influences the choices of the males. This quality is determined by the location and density of the territory when compared to the activity in the lek. 

These courts are common in the Guianan Shield, which is a forest near the Northeastern part of South America. 




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