Andean cock-of-the-rock

Rupicola peruvianus

The Andean cock-of-the-rock is a medium-sized passerine bird of the Cotinga family native to Andean cloud forests in South America. It is widely regarded as the national bird of Peru. It has four subspecies and its closest relative is the Guianan cock-of-the-rock.

The species exhibits marked sexual dimorphism; the male has a large disk-like crest and scarlet or brilliant orange plumage, while the female is significantly darker and browner. Gatherings of males compete for breeding females with each male displaying its colourful plumage, bobbing and hopping, and making a variety of calls. After mating, the female makes a nest under a rocky overhang, incubates the eggs, and rears the young, all by herself.

The Andean cock-of-the-rock eats a diet of many organisms. It consistently eats fruit and occasionally feeds on insects, amphibians, reptiles, and smaller mice. The species eats high protein fruits occasionally and has also been found to eat 14 others. It is distributed all across the cloud forest of the Andes. The species is patchily distributed across its range of about 260,000 km2 . Even though it is being affected by its habitat destruction, the Andean cock-of-the-rock is not near enough to the threshold of becoming threatened.
Andean cock-of-the-rock - perched II, Jardin, Colombia This is Henriette's favorite bird so we went to a place that gives really good odds of seeing them: the cock-of-the-rock reserve in Jardin. This reserve is simply a large forested garden operated by a nice old lady. There are no fences or nets, so the birds chose to be here. On any given day, you can see as little as 1 or as many as 30 cock-of-the-rocks. Almost all are males which are known for their loud and extravagant courtship displays.

I think we saw about 8 males, and no females. It's a very fun, loud and entertaining sight to see these males go nuts. They are constantly head-banging and loudly calling. They are of course all known for their appearance, in particular the disc-like crest that gives the illusion of the bird having a protruded head, and no beak. I'll be sharing many shots, get ready for lots of RED! 

https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61114/andean_cock-of-the-rock_calling_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61116/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_back_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61117/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_intense_stare_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61118/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_stare_intensifies_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61119/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_perched_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61121/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_perched_back_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61122/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_portrait_in_backlight_jardin_colombia.html Andean cock-of-the-rock,Antioquia,Colombia,Colombia Choco & Pacific region,Fall,Geotagged,Jardin,Jardín,Rupicola peruvianus,South America,World

Appearance

The Andean cock-of-the-rock is a medium-sized passerine, approximately 32 cm long and weighing 235 g . The birds is one of many birds species to exhibit marked sexual dimorphism. The male has a large disk-like crest and brilliant scarlet or orange plumage. It has black tail and wings, and pale greyish scapulars. The female is significantly drabber and browner than the male and has a less prominent crest. The bill is yellowish in the male, and dark with a small yellow tip in the female. Depending on gender and subspecies there are significant variations in the colour of the iris, ranging from red over orange and yellow to bluish-white in the male, and whitish over reddish to brown in the female. In addition to the display calls described in the breeding section below, foraging birds give a loud querulous "uankk?" when disturbed or in flight.
Andean cock-of-the-rock - perched, Jardin, Colombia This is Henriette's favorite bird so we went to a place that gives really good odds of seeing them: the cock-of-the-rock reserve in Jardin. This reserve is simply a large forested garden operated by a nice old lady. There are no fences or nets, so the birds chose to be here. On any given day, you can see as little as 1 or as many as 30 cock-of-the-rocks. Almost all are males which are known for their loud and extravagant courtship displays.

I think we saw about 8 males, and no females. It's a very fun, loud and entertaining sight to see these males go nuts. They are constantly head-banging and loudly calling. They are of course all known for their appearance, in particular the disc-like crest that gives the illusion of the bird having a protruded head, and no beak. I'll be sharing many shots, get ready for lots of RED! 

https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61114/andean_cock-of-the-rock_calling_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61116/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_back_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61117/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_intense_stare_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61118/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_stare_intensifies_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61120/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_perched_ii_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61121/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_perched_back_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61122/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_portrait_in_backlight_jardin_colombia.html Andean cock-of-the-rock,Antioquia,Colombia,Colombia Choco & Pacific region,Jardin,Jardín,Rupicola peruvianus,South America,World

Naming

One of two species in the genus ''Rupicola'', the other being the Guianan cock-of-the-rock, the Andean cock-of-the-rock was first described by English ornithologist John Latham in 1790. It is considered to be in Cotingidae, a family of brightly coloured birds. The generic name is derived from the Latin stems ''rupes'' "rock" or "cliff", and ''cola'' "inhabiting", and is derived from its habit of nesting in rock walls. Its specific epithet ''peruvianus'' "of Peru" is masculine despite the -''a'' ending of the genus name ; ''peruviana'' is seen in older works.

Four subspecies are known:
⤷  ''R. p. peruvianus'' – , nominate subspecies
⤷  ''R. p. aequatorialis'' – Taczanowski, 1889
⤷  ''R. p. sanguinolentus'' – Gould, 1859
⤷  ''R. p. saturatus'' – Cabanis and Heine, 1859
Andean cock-of-the-rock - intense stare, Jardin, Colombia This is Henriette's favorite bird so we went to a place that gives really good odds of seeing them: the cock-of-the-rock reserve in Jardin. This reserve is simply a large forested garden operated by a nice old lady. There are no fences or nets, so the birds chose to be here. On any given day, you can see as little as 1 or as many as 30 cock-of-the-rocks. Almost all are males which are known for their loud and extravagant courtship displays.

I think we saw about 8 males, and no females. It's a very fun, loud and entertaining sight to see these males go nuts. They are constantly head-banging and loudly calling. They are of course all known for their appearance, in particular the disc-like crest that gives the illusion of the bird having a protruded head, and no beak. I'll be sharing many shots, get ready for lots of RED! 

https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61114/andean_cock-of-the-rock_calling_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61116/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_back_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61118/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_stare_intensifies_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61119/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_perched_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61120/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_perched_ii_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61121/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_perched_back_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61122/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_portrait_in_backlight_jardin_colombia.html Andean cock-of-the-rock,Antioquia,Colombia,Colombia Choco & Pacific region,Fall,Geotagged,Jardin,Jardín,Rupicola peruvianus,South America,World

Distribution

The Andean cock-of-the-rock is distributed in cloud forests of the Andes. It lives in a large range of about 260,000 km2 across Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, and Bolivia, mostly in ravines and forested streams in montane areas at 500 to 2,400 m elevation. It typically stays in the lower and middle forest levels, but will range higher in fruiting trees and will sometimes enter and cross clearings. It is generally shy and inconspicuous, often seen only briefly after being flushed out or while swiftly flying down a valley.

''R. p. aequatorialis'' is the most widespread subspecies, ranging across the Andes of East Columbia to West Venezuela, East Ecuador and East Peru. The nominate subspecies, ''R. p. peruvianus'' has a small range stretching only through the Andes of Central Peru. ''R. p. sanguinolentus'' ranges throughout the Andes in West Columbia to Northwest Ecuador. The subspecies ''R. p. saturatus'' has a range across Southeast Peru and West Bolivia.
Andean cock-of-the-rock - portrait in backlight, Jardin, Colombia This is Henriette's favorite bird so we went to a place that gives really good odds of seeing them: the cock-of-the-rock reserve in Jardin. This reserve is simply a large forested garden operated by a nice old lady. There are no fences or nets, so the birds chose to be here. On any given day, you can see as little as 1 or as many as 30 cock-of-the-rocks. Almost all are males which are known for their loud and extravagant courtship displays.

I think we saw about 8 males, and no females. It's a very fun, loud and entertaining sight to see these males go nuts. They are constantly head-banging and loudly calling. They are of course all known for their appearance, in particular the disc-like crest that gives the illusion of the bird having a protruded head, and no beak. I'll be sharing many shots, get ready for lots of RED! 

https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61114/andean_cock-of-the-rock_calling_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61116/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_back_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61117/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_intense_stare_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61118/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_stare_intensifies_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61119/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_perched_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61120/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_perched_ii_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61121/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_perched_back_jardin_colombia.html Andean cock-of-the-rock,Antioquia,Colombia,Colombia Choco & Pacific region,Fall,Geotagged,Jardin,Jardín,Rupicola peruvianus,South America,World

Status

The worldwide population size and trends in population numbers have not been determined, but is it believed that the Andean cock-of-the-rock is not threatened. The species is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species despite habitat destruction. It is patchily distributed, but its range is large enough to sustain it at a Least Concern status.
Andean cock-of-the-rock - stare intensifies, Jardin, Colombia This is Henriette's favorite bird so we went to a place that gives really good odds of seeing them: the cock-of-the-rock reserve in Jardin. This reserve is simply a large forested garden operated by a nice old lady. There are no fences or nets, so the birds chose to be here. On any given day, you can see as little as 1 or as many as 30 cock-of-the-rocks. Almost all are males which are known for their loud and extravagant courtship displays.

I think we saw about 8 males, and no females. It's a very fun, loud and entertaining sight to see these males go nuts. They are constantly head-banging and loudly calling. They are of course all known for their appearance, in particular the disc-like crest that gives the illusion of the bird having a protruded head, and no beak. I'll be sharing many shots, get ready for lots of RED! 

https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61114/andean_cock-of-the-rock_calling_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61116/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_back_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61117/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_intense_stare_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61119/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_perched_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61120/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_perched_ii_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61121/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_perched_back_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61122/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_portrait_in_backlight_jardin_colombia.html Andean cock-of-the-rock,Antioquia,Colombia,Colombia Choco & Pacific region,Fall,Geotagged,Jardin,Jardín,Rupicola peruvianus,South America,World

Habitat

The Andean cock-of-the-rock is distributed in cloud forests of the Andes. It lives in a large range of about 260,000 km2 across Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, and Bolivia, mostly in ravines and forested streams in montane areas at 500 to 2,400 m elevation. It typically stays in the lower and middle forest levels, but will range higher in fruiting trees and will sometimes enter and cross clearings. It is generally shy and inconspicuous, often seen only briefly after being flushed out or while swiftly flying down a valley.

''R. p. aequatorialis'' is the most widespread subspecies, ranging across the Andes of East Columbia to West Venezuela, East Ecuador and East Peru. The nominate subspecies, ''R. p. peruvianus'' has a small range stretching only through the Andes of Central Peru. ''R. p. sanguinolentus'' ranges throughout the Andes in West Columbia to Northwest Ecuador. The subspecies ''R. p. saturatus'' has a range across Southeast Peru and West Bolivia.Andean cocks-of-the-rocks influence the environment around them. It was found that a white-capped dipper renovated an abandoned cock-of-the-rock nest to lay its eggs in. Cock-of-the-rock also change the surrounding flora through seed dispersal. Seeds that the birds ingest often are found deposited around lek and nesting sites. This favours the germination and growth of those seeds. The diversity of these types of seeds has been found to be increased at lek and nests and decreased throughout the surrounding forest.
Andean Cock of the rock seen at a lek, Santa Lucia Lodge, Ecuador A nearly 2 hour walk in light rain in the dark starting at 4 am. Totally worth it to see these amazing birds. There were at least 10 of these males trying to show off their bright colours with bobbing head movements and some squawking. The overcast conditions with the birds mostly staying within the tree foliage made taking a good photo difficult, sorry for the graininess - needed to push the iso to get anything in focus.  Andean cock-of-the-rock,Ecuador,Geotagged,Rupicola peruvianus,Winter,bird,cock-of-the-rock,ecuador,lek,male,red

Reproduction

The male takes the lesser part in breeding, is polygamous, and has nothing to do with nesting once mating is done. The male's energy instead is devoted to very elaborate display rituals that show off its magnificent plumage. These displays take place in communal leks, where males gather to challenge rivals and beckon the females. The males are easily disturbed, so their behavior is not easy to see. One study reported that the display activity is dependent on light intensity, with the morning display period occurring during the same light intensity level as the afternoon period.

At the lek, males have been observed to break up into pairs, performing "confrontation displays". This consists of facing each other while bowing, jumping, and flapping their wings, sometimes even snapping their bills, and at the same time giving off various squawking and grunting calls. When the female approaches, it becomes even more intense. The display turns into a cacophony of bright color and a frenzied activity filling the air with very strange sounds.

Breeding takes place during different intervals in different areas. In Colombia, breeding normally happens in February until July. In Ecuador, the breeding interval spans from July until February.
Andean cock-of-the-rock - back, Jardin, Colombia This is Henriette's favorite bird so we went to a place that gives really good odds of seeing them: the cock-of-the-rock reserve in Jardin. This reserve is simply a large forested garden operated by a nice old lady. There are no fences or nets, so the birds chose to be here. On any given day, you can see as little as 1 or as many as 30 cock-of-the-rocks. Almost all are males which are known for their loud and extravagant courtship displays.

I think we saw about 8 males, and no females. It's a very fun, loud and entertaining sight to see these males go nuts. They are constantly head-banging and loudly calling. They are of course all known for their appearance, in particular the disc-like crest that gives the illusion of the bird having a protruded head, and no beak. I'll be sharing many shots, get ready for lots of RED! 

https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61114/andean_cock-of-the-rock_calling_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61117/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_intense_stare_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61118/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_stare_intensifies_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61119/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_perched_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61120/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_perched_ii_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61121/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_perched_back_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61122/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_portrait_in_backlight_jardin_colombia.html Andean cock-of-the-rock,Antioquia,Colombia,Colombia Choco & Pacific region,Fall,Geotagged,Jardin,Jardín,Rupicola peruvianus,South America,World

Food

The diet consists mainly of fruit and insects, although small reptiles and frogs have been recorded. The fruits consumed are often from the plant families Lauraceae, Annonaceae, and Rubiaceae, although a few other plant families have also been reported in their diet. They are one of many species recorded following army ants. They occasionally will eat high protein fruits, but they prefer to eat the other fruits on their menu.
Andean cock-of-the-rock calling, Jardin, Colombia This is Henriette's favorite bird so we went to a place that gives really good odds of seeing them: the cock-of-the-rock reserve in Jardin. This reserve is simply a large forested garden operated by a nice old lady. There are no fences or nets, so the birds chose to be here. On any given day, you can see as little as 1 or as many as 30 cock-of-the-rocks. Almost all are males which are known for their loud and extravagant courtship displays. 

I think we saw about 8 males, and no females. It's a very fun, loud and entertaining sight to see these males go nuts. They are constantly head-banging and loudly calling. They are of course all known for their appearance, in particular the disc-like crest that gives the illusion of the bird having a protruded head, and no beak. I'll be sharing many shots, get ready for lots of RED!

https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61116/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_back_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61117/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_intense_stare_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61118/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_stare_intensifies_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61119/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_perched_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61120/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_perched_ii_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61121/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_perched_back_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61122/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_portrait_in_backlight_jardin_colombia.html Andean cock-of-the-rock,Antioquia,Colombia,Colombia Choco & Pacific region,Jardin,Jardín,Rupicola peruvianus,South America,World

Predators

Andean cocks-of-the-rock face slightly larger predators than smaller songbirds. Predators are attracted to leks by the conspicuous behavior of the displaying males. The animals reported to prey on adult cocks-of-the-rock including hawk-eagles, hawks, forest-falcons, jaguar, puma, ocelot and the boa constrictor.
Andean cock-of-the-rock - perched back, Jardin, Colombia This is Henriette's favorite bird so we went to a place that gives really good odds of seeing them: the cock-of-the-rock reserve in Jardin. This reserve is simply a large forested garden operated by a nice old lady. There are no fences or nets, so the birds chose to be here. On any given day, you can see as little as 1 or as many as 30 cock-of-the-rocks. Almost all are males which are known for their loud and extravagant courtship displays.

I think we saw about 8 males, and no females. It's a very fun, loud and entertaining sight to see these males go nuts. They are constantly head-banging and loudly calling. They are of course all known for their appearance, in particular the disc-like crest that gives the illusion of the bird having a protruded head, and no beak. I'll be sharing many shots, get ready for lots of RED! 

https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61114/andean_cock-of-the-rock_calling_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61116/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_back_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61117/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_intense_stare_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61118/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_stare_intensifies_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61119/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_perched_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61120/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_perched_ii_jardin_colombia.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61122/andean_cock-of-the-rock_-_portrait_in_backlight_jardin_colombia.html Andean cock-of-the-rock,Antioquia,Colombia,Colombia Choco & Pacific region,Jardin,Jardín,Rupicola peruvianus,South America,World

Defense

The nests, built entirely by the female, are mud plastered to cave entrances or rocky outcrops in forest ravines. The nests are often constructed from the saliva of the females mixed in with vegetable matter and mud. The nest is shaped like a concave cup. The female typically lays two white eggs. The females incubates these eggs for about 25 to 28 days.

References:

Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

Status: Least concern
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassAves
OrderPasseriformes
FamilyCotingidae
GenusRupicola
SpeciesR. peruvianus
Photographed in
Colombia
Ecuador