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Andean Cock-of-the-rock
Rupicola peruvianus

Passeriforme Order – Cotingidae family

BIOMETRICS:
Length: 31-32 cm
Weight: M: 266 g – F: 213-226 g
DESCRIPTION:
The species here displayed is the subspecies Rupicola peruvianus sanguinolentus.

The Andean Cock-of-the-rock is the Peru’s National Bird.

The male of nominate race has bright orange head, body and most of lesser upperwing coverts. The rest of upperwing is black, except the grey tertials. The tail is black.
Underparts are bright orange.

On the head, we can see a distinctive crest made with two rows of feathers, forming a kind of semi-circular casque.
The strong, yellow bill has wide base. Both mandibles are laterally compressed towards the tip. The rictal bristles are lacking.
The eyes are pale orange. Legs and strong feet are yellow.

Fr: Coq-de-roche péruvien
All: Andenfelsenhahn
Esp: Gallito de las Rocas Peruano
Ital: Galletto di roccia delle Ande
Nd: Rode Rotshaan
Sd: Andinsk klippfågel

Photographers:

Roger Ahlman
Pbase Galleries Peru and Ecuador

Didier Buysse
Vision d’Oiseaux

Text by Nicole Bouglouan

Sources:

HANDBOOK OF THE BIRDS OF THE WORLD Vol 9 - by Josep del Hoyo - Andrew Elliot - David Christie - Lynx Edicions - ISBN: 8487334695

Avibase (Lepage Denis)

BirdLife International (BirdLife International)

PERU ECOLOGICO

Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia

 

Home page

Page Passeriforme Order

Summary cards

 

VOICE: SOUNDS BY XENO-CANTO
The Andean Cock-of-the-rock male utters loud “yooii” at lek, but less raucous than the Guianan Cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola rupicola). We can also hear along, continuing clucking “kip-kip-kip”.
If disturbed, the birds of both sexes may give loud “uankk” while foraging.
This bird is usually silent outside the breeding season.

HABITAT:
The Andean Cock-of-the-rock frequents the montane forest and the thick humid woodlands between 1400 and 2400 metres of elevation on the eastern slopes of the Andes.
It is mainly found close to streams and in ravines with rocky cliffs.

FLIGHT:  
The Andean Cock-of-the-rock has modified flight feathers with slender outer primaries which can produce some peculiar sounds during the flight and the displays.  

DIET:
The Andean Cock-of-the-rock feeds mainly on fruits from several plant species. It plucks at the fruit while flying. It also takes large insects, and during the nesting period, the chicks are fed with small frogs and lizards.

RANGE:
We can find four subspecies:
R.p. sanguilonentus from W Andes of Colombia and NW Ecuador. This one has blood-red body plumage and deep red eyes.

R.p aequatorialis from Andes of W Venezuela, C and E Andes of Colombia, and E slope in Ecuador and Peru. This race is bright orange, with less grey on the upperwing and bright yellow or orange-yellow eyes.

R.p. peruvianus from C Peru.

R.p. saturatus from SE Peru and W Bolivia. It has deep orange-red plumage and pale blue to whitish eyes.
The females vary in eyes’ colour, from light red to whitish or brown.  

The female is dark chestnut-brown with blacker throat and wings. She has smaller crest, pale whitish-blue eyes, blackish bill and grey legs and feet.

Immature resembles adult female, but the young male is more orange.

R.p. sanguilonentus

R.p aequatorialis

Female

R.p. saturatus

Immature

R.p. saturatus
R.p. sanguilonentus
BEHAVIOUR:
The Andean Cock-of-the-rock feeds mainly on fruits, large insects and small vertebrates. Fruits are often plucked in flight. There are fruits from several forest plant species.
During the nesting period, the chicks are fed with small frogs and lizards. The prey is beaten against a hard surface, often the branch, and macerated in the bill before to be given to the chicks head first.
R.p. aequatorialis

The Andean Cock-of-the-rock is polygamous. During the breeding season, the males display at communal leks where up to 15 birds may gather. Each male perches in tree at about 4-6 metres above the ground.
They perform ritual displays in pairs, such as bowing and head bobbing towards each other. They also jump, flap their wings and perform bill-snapping and calling.
These displays become intense if females approach. They usually perch in the nearby trees, looking at the displaying males. They cross the lek and choose a male. Then, copulation occurs.

The Andean Cock-of-the-rock is probably resident and may perform short-distance movements while foraging.

R.p. sanguinolentus
R.p. aequatorialis

REPRODUCTION:  
The breeding season occurs mainly in February-July in S Colombia, but this period may vary according to the range.
The nest is a cup mainly made with mud, usually in shape of truncated cone, attached to the rock at 3-12 metres above the ground. This cup is lined with coarse plant fibres.
Several nests may be relatively close to each other.

The female lays two eggs and incubates during 28 days. The young fledge about 42-48 days after hatching.
The nesting duties are performed by the female alone. After the copulation, she disappears into the forest in order to lay her eggs and to incubate, and then, she raises her chicks.

R.p. saturatus
PROTECTION / THREATS / STATUS:
The Andean Cock-of-the-rock is not threatened, but this species can be locally common or fairly common.
As the Peru’s National Bird, this species is well protected.