Andean Cock of the Rock: Peru's National Bird | Kuoda Travel

Andean Cock of the Rock: Peru’s National Bird

Andean Cock of the Rock: Peru’s National Bird

Spot the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock on Your Private Peru Holiday

The Andean cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruviana) is the national bird of Peru. It’s a shy, scarlet or orange-colored bird belonging to the passerine order. This bird is mostly found in ravines and forested streams in mountainous areas, 1,600 to 7,900 feet (500 to 2,400 meters) in elevation. This species can also be encountered in cloud forests of Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador. Spotting one of these beautiful birds is a memorable highlight of any personalized trip to Peru. Let’s learn more about this fascinating bird.

What Does the Andean Cock-of-the Rock Look Like?

A medium-size passerine, the Andean cock-of-the-rock is approximately 13 inches (33 centimeters) in length. This bird is known to exhibit sexual dimorphism, with the males’ appearance being more colorful than the females. Males also have large, unusually-shaped crests on top of their heads. The male’s wings and tail are black and gray. The female is browner and darker in color with a smaller crest.

What’s With That Weird Dance?

The Andean cock-of-the-rock is characterized by its unique mating dance. The dance is performed in a lek, which is a group of males that gather together for mating displays. As many as 20 males may perform together, challenging one another while also beckoning females. These elaborate display rituals show off the males’ magnificent plumage.

The displays are performed in treetops and on the ground, with males defending the territory of their lek from other males. Plan your private Peru holiday in the months of September, October, or November, which is the best time of year to witness this unusual mating display.

What are the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock’s Enemies?

The Andean cock-of-the-rock mating dance consists of flapping its wings vigorously, as well as ceremonial bowing and hopping. The birds’ bizarre-sounding calls can be heard from great distances, sometimes inadvertently attracting predators, such as jaguars, pumas and even boa constrictors.

The Andean cock-of-the-rock is not endangered at this time; however, like many species, the conversion of forests into farmlands is an ongoing threat to their habitats.

How Does the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock Nest?

Nests are built by females using a variety of plants and mud. They’re typically positioned on the sides of rock cliffs, steep gorges, caves and walls, often in close proximately to one another. The nests are incubated for 28 days. The males are polygamous and do not help in the rearing of the young.

What Does the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock Eat?

The Andean cock-of-the-rock mainly feeds on fruits, ingesting them whole and swallowing most of the seeds. These seeds pass through the birds’ bodies unharmed, and as a result, the Andean cock-of-the-rock plays an important role is dispersing seeds and regenerating forests.

The birds’ digestion also causes the plant communities that grow around their nest and lek sites to differ from the surrounding area. As many as 35 different species have been found around a single site.

Are you ready to start planning your private Peru trip to see this bird in its natural habitat? Consider a private Amazon tour and experience a watching adventure with Kuoda Travel. Contact one of our travel designers to feature this adventure in your personalized trip to Peru.

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