The Horned Screamer
We loved being introduced to these chaps by Omar along the river
bank. Just love their indicator that sticks out from the top
of their head.
The Horned Screamer
(Anhima cornuta) is a member of
a small family of birds, the Anhimidae, which occur in wetlands of Tropical South
America. There are three screamer species, the other two being the Southern
and the Northern
Screamer in the genus Chauna. They are related to the
ducks, geese and swans, which are in the family Anatidae, but have bills looking more like those of game
Description: This is a massive thirty three to thirty eight inches long, weighs
around seven and a half pounds, with a small chicken-like bill. The upperparts, head and breast are black, with white speckles
on the crown, throat and wing coverts. There is a long quill projecting forward
from the crown, which gives this species its name. The belly and under wing
coverts are white. It has two sharp spurs on its wings, and feet which are only
partially webbed. The Horned Screamer's call, as its name suggests, is a very loud
U-WHO or honking YOIK-YOK.
Distribution, habitat and behavior: The Horned Screamer is found in lowlands from Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Suriname, French
Guiana and Guyana. It is now extinct in Trinidad
and Tobago. Despite having declined locally, it remains widespread and is
overall fairly common. Its range in Brazil appears to have expanded in recent
years. It lives in well-vegetated marshes and feeds on water plants. Its
nest is a large pile of floating vegetation anchored in shallow water. Three
olive-brown eggs are laid and the young, like those of most Anseriformes, can run as soon as they are hatched.
As a symbol: The Horned Screamer is the official bird of the Department
of Arauca and the Municipality
of Arauca in Colombia. The department and its capital are named after the
bird, which is called Arauco in
Spanish. The bird also appears in the arms of Tietê, Brazil.
ALL IN ALL A NEW ONE ON US - LOVE HIS INDICATOR