IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)


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Amazonian Umbrellabird

The Amazonian umbrellabird (Cephalopterus ornatus) is a species of bird in the Cotingidae family. Much larger than the female, the male Amazonian umbrellabird is likely the largest passerine in South America as well as the largest suboscine passerine in the world. The male Amazonian umbrellabird grows to a weight of 480-571 grams (1-1.25 lbs) and a length of 48–55 cm (19–22 in). The female averages 41–44 cm (16–17 in) and weighs up to 380 grams (13.5 oz).[2][3]

As in the other umbrellabirds, the Amazonian umbrellabird is almost entirely black, has a conspicuous crest on the top of their head, and an inflatable wattle on the neck, which serves to amplify their loud, booming calls. This bird has pale eyes, whereas in most umbrellabirds the eye is black. The undulating flying method of this species is considered quite woodpecker-like, with the lack of white on the umbrellabird's plumage distinguishing it from large woodpeckers it co-exists with. The Amazonian umbrellabird is seen flying usually flying only across openings like over rivers and usually boldly hops branch to branch while in trees.

This species occurs in two main populations: One found in woodland and forest, mainly near rivers, in the Amazon Basin, and a second found in forested foothills of the eastern Andes. The Amazonian umbrellabird is found variously in small groups, pairs or individually. They are usually seen in or near the canopy but due to their wary behavior and scarcity at open spots they are easily missed for a bird of this size. They are heard in the field more often than they are seen. Fruit and berries are usually preferred but insects, spiders and insect larvae are eaten opportunistically.[4]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Cephalopterus ornatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ The Birds of Ecuador, Vol. 2: Field Guide, Robert S. Ridgely Robert S. Ridgely & Paul J. Greenfield, Cornell University Press (2001). ISBN 978-0-8014-8721-7
  3. ^ Birds of Venezuela, Steven L. Hilty, Princeton University Press (2003). ISBN 978-0-691-09250-8
  4. ^ http://animals.jrank.org/pages/1052/Cotingas-Cotingidae-AMAZONIAN-UMBRELLABIRD-Cephalopterus-ornatus-SPECIES-ACCOUNTS.html
  • A Guide to the Birds of Colombia, Steven L. Hilty & William L. Brown, Princeton University Press (1986). ISBN 0-691-08372-X.

Further reading[edit]


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