Bearded bellbird

Procnias averano

TAXONOMY

Procnias averano Hermann, 1783. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Araponga barbu; German: Flechtenglöckner; Spanish: Campanero Herrero.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

The bellbirds are distinguished by compact bodies, flat beaks, short tarsi and a plumage of small feathers. Male bellbirds have among the loudest calls of any birds. Males also differ from the females in their plumage coloration. The male has a bare throat with beard-like threads of skin set in bundles around the skin of the throat. Its head is brown, and the flight feathers and tail are black; the rest of the plumage is a light pearl-gray. Females are predominantly green, and somewhat smaller.

DISTRIBUTION

This species is patchily distributed in the north-central Amazon and Guiana Shield, and is also found in northeastern Brazil. Although primarily a lowland species, it may range up to 6,200 ft (1,900 m).

HABITAT

Bellbirds live in tropical lowland or montane evergreen rainforest. They prefer high perches in the canopy, often on bare tree branches which project above the crowns of surrounding trees.

BEHAVIOR

The far-reaching bell-like calls (often described as "bockk") of the males are characteristic of their jungle home. In display this species opens up its gape like a frog's mouth so that the threads of the "beard" (which are comparable to a wreath of tuning forks) reproduce its pure bell-like tones.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

These birds feed on fruit. The short bills with a wide gape are adaptations for gorging on quantities of fruit.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

The nest is made of very little construction material, and is built on open branches. One or two eggs are laid per clutch. The female cares for the young alone, regurgitating fruit and cleaning the nest of fecal sacks and regurgitated seeds. The chicks leave the nest at 33 days, and take three years to come into full color.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ‚ô¶

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