Turquoise cotinga

Cotinga ridgwayi

TAXONOMY

Cotinga ridgwayi Ridgway, 1887. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Ridgway's cotinga; French: Cotinga turquoise; German: Ridgway-Kotinga; Spanish: Continga de Ridgway.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Weight for this genus is around 2.5-2.8 oz (70-80 g). This species is starling-sized. Males are predominantly ultramarine-blue in color, with black on the wings and tail, and separate patches of violet on the throat and breast. Their subcutaneous and perivisceral fat often takes on the blue color of the berries they prefer.

DISTRIBUTION

This species is restricted to southwest Costa Rica, barely ranging into western Panama.

HABITAT

This species, like other members of this genus, can be found in canopies of lowland tropical evergreen forest. Additionally, it may be found in secondary forest. It may range up to 5,550 ft (1,850 m).

BEHAVIOR

The quiet behavior of the members of this genus is in contrast with their vivid colors.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Fruit and berries are consumed, often "gorging" at a masting tree or bush such as mistletoe. The fruits are often plucked on

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Cotinga ridgwayi

Resident

the wing. Although the seeds of larger species (e.g., mistletoe) might be regurgitated, smaller seeds are often swallowed. Insects are also taken.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

The mating system is not completely known within this group, although for the most part it appears that males display solitarily.

The nest is platform type, often high in a tree fork, or next to an epiphyte. The female incubates and cares for the young alone.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Vulnerable, with habitat alteration due to agrarian encroachment being the principal threat. Its geographic range is estimated at 3,200 mi2 (8,400 km2). Its numbers are estimated at less than 10,000, with populations declining.

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). ♦

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