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» Cock of the Rock | The national bird of Peru

  • Common name: Cock of the Rock
  • Scientific name: Rupicola peruvianus
  • Family: Cotingidae
  • Type: Oviparous
  • Size: 35 cm
  • Life expectancy: Approximately 7 years
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Status: Least Concern
  • Natural Habitat: Jungle (Peru)

The Cock of the Rock is an exotic bird that can measure up to 35 cm in height, which is a prominent figure compared to other nearby bird species. It stands out that it only emits vocalizations during the rutting season, in which it emits a kind of snore to mark territory.

Although it may be coveted as a pet due to its striking and exotic plumage, the Cock of the Rock belongs to a wild habitat, where it can live, hunt and reproduce in total freedom and without human interaction.

Let us describe the Cock of the Rock

This species that lives in the jungle has a very marked sexual dimorphism; in which it changes the combination of colors of its plumage. For example, in the male, we can observe that the colors black and orange predominate, which stand out in their prominent crest. On the other hand, the female has a plumage in which the brown color stands out, and its crest is not as striking as that of the male.

Habitat of the Cock of the rocks

This beautiful bird is autochthonous of Peru, the reason why it has been considered as a national symbol. At the same time it lives in:

  • Andean areas
  • Rocky areas
  • Amazonian areas, like jungles

The latter stands out for their humid environment, far from human activity, where there are thick vegetation and variety of animal species, both birds and insects, reptiles and mammals. Likewise, the cockerel of the rocks can adapt very well to areas located more than 2000 meters above sea level, in humid forests.

Another important fact is that this wild animal takes advantage of these habitats to build its nests in tall trees or on rocky walls that have a nearby water source to ensure its hydration. They also use these rugged environments to keep themselves safe from predators, as they can mimic the colors of their plumage.

What does it feed on?

This beautiful bird feeds on a wide variety of wild fruits that are available in its mountainous environment. Apart from this, the Cock of the Rock includes several types of insects in its diet, which undoubtedly provide it with the necessary micronutrients to be in optimal health conditions. This makes him an omnivorous animal.

However, the scope of feeding is complicated for males, as they must spend most of their time looking for females to mate with, which leaves them little time to devote to getting food.

Reproduction of this bird

According to several experts, this species has preferences for monogamy, that is to say, that they tend to maintain a couple for many years. On the other hand, concerning courtship, the male performs a spectacular dance consisting of delicate jumps; he also emits a wide variety of sounds and of course, displays his distinguished and striking plumage to attract females.

In the communities of these species, there is a dominant male who establishes a dancing territory during the mating season and is situated in the center while surrounded by other males. Because it is an alpha male, it has the privilege of first mating with the rest of the females in the community.

After the female chooses the male, she considered the best dancer, the process of copulation begins, which they do through sexual contact. In turn, it should be noted that they are oviparous animals, so the female will lay eggs, which have an incubation period of almost 40 days, she is the only one who will be responsible for incubating and caring for the eggs and hatchlings later until they learn to fly.

Predators

This species must take care of a great variety of wild predators, such as the ocelot, the hawk eagle, the bicoloured hawk , the coatimundis, and snakes.

On the other hand, humans are the main reason why Cock of the Rock is currently in danger of extinction. Generally, this species is affected by the massive and indiscriminate cutting of trees in areas where this species lives. This animal is also a victim of illegal hunters, who seek to sell them at very high prices due to their bright colors, so they have been responsible for reducing the number of populations of the cock of the rock.

Interesting facts about the Cock of the Rock

This species is characterized by being very shy and spends most of the day hiding in its nest. They only venture into the forest to feed, drink water, bathe, or mating season.

On the other hand, this bird was named Peru’s national bird in 1941 by President Manuel Prado.

The famous Alexander Von Humboldt was the person who decided to give this exotic bird the name of “Cock-of-the-Rock” because he observed that it performed very well in rugged environments.