Significance to humans

Several indigenous tribes use cotinga feathers in their ornamentation. One of the most frequently seen groups is Cotinga, which is commonly represented in costumes of certain Amazonian tribes. Perhaps as many as 10-15% of artifacts have Cotinga feathers, although the most commonly used feathers are those of Psittacids (Ara and Amazona). During the late 1990s, cocks-of-the-rock were threatened due to demand of their feathers to make fishing flies. Additionally some species may be hunted incidentally as a protein source. The head and beard ornamentation of species such as Cephalopterus ornatus are sometimes seen in Amazonian riverboats, but the associated belief, whether aphrodisiac or mere folklore, is unknown.

Amazonian umbrellabird (Cephalopterus ornatus). (Illustration by Emily Damstra)
Amazonian Umbrellabird

1. Turquoise cotinga (Cotinga ridgwayi); 2. Plum-throated cotinga (Cotinga maynana); 3. Spangled cotinga (Cotinga cayana); 4. Purple-breasted cotinga (Cotinga cotinga); 5. Banded cotinga (Cotinga maculata); 6. Andean cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruviana); 7. Guianan cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola rupicola). (Illustration by Emily Damstra)

l.Three-wattled bellbird (Procnias tricarunculata); 2. Bare-throated bellbird (Procnias nudicollis); 3. Bearded bellbird (Procnias averano); 4. Longwattled umbrellabird (Cephalopterus penduliger); 5. Bare-necked umbrellabird (Cephalopterus glabricollis); 6. White bellbird (Procnias alba). (Illustration by Emily Damstra)

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