Bird With Unusual Half-Moon Crest Is the Must-See Species in Tropical Rainforests

The male Guianan cock-of-the-rock's distinctive look is hard to mistake for any other species
January 3, 2021 Updated: January 11, 2021

With its striking half-moon crest in bright golden-orange, the male Guianan cock-of-the-rock is an eye-catching bird in its native tropical rainforests.

The bird’s orange brilliant-colored crest is lined with a brown band and remains bristled at all times.

Apart from its iconic crest, male Guianan cock-of-the-rocks also sport luxurious fluted tail feathers and black and white wing bars—their distinctive look is hard to mistake for any other species.

Epoch Times Photo
(AISSE GAERTNER/CC BY-SA 4.0)

Native to the lowland rainforests of Guyana, Suriname, Colombia, Venezuela, and northern Brazil, the Guianan cock-of-the-rock earned its name from its habit of building nests from mud, clay, and plant matter on cliffs or rocky crevices.

The Guianan cock-of-the-rock, scientific name Rupicola rupicola, is entirely frugivorous, meaning it subsists mainly on fruits with the occasional exception made for insects, frogs, and small reptiles, according to Dallas World Aquarium.

The vibrant-colored male birds grow up to 30 centimeters in size. Females, by comparison, are a dull brown color.

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(Pedro Bernardo/Shutterstock)

The bright-orange males put their half-moon crests to good use in vibrant combat or “dancing” displays, hosted by communal leks comprising as many as 50 birds, notes the Dallas World Aquarium.

Males inhabiting the center of the lek display dominance and are more attractive to potential female partners.

The species is polygamous. Females raise their chicks on their own. According to the Dallas World Aquarium, Guianan cock-of-the-rock’s clutch typically contains two eggs; the incubation period lasts for 27 to 28 days.

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Female Guianan cock-of-the-rock. (Charlotte Bleijenberg/Shutterstock)

These handsome birds live, on average, four-and-a-half years in the wild.

While the bird is predated by harpy eagles and bald eagles, among other South American birds of prey, it is listed as of “least concern” on the IUCN Red List.

Here are some of the selected photos of this stunning bird, enjoy.

Epoch Times Photo
(Wang LiQiang/Shutterstock)
Epoch Times Photo
(Bernard DUPONT/CC BY-SA 2.0)
Epoch Times Photo
(Charlotte Bleijenberg/Shutterstock)
Epoch Times Photo
(Wang LiQiang/Shutterstock)

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