Umbrellabird

July 22, 2021

Today’s animal of the day is the gorgeous Umbrellabird which resides in the rainforest climes of Central and South America.

Darwin’s friend Sir Alfred Wallace discovered this species on a South American expedition in the 1800s. 

Here are a few facts about this unusual bird: 

  • Umbrellabirds were given their name for the shaped crest on their heads.
  • There are three different Umbrellabirds: the Long-Wattled, the Amazonian, and the Bare-Necked.
  • In mating season, the males fan their crests wide and rumble their throats to attract the females.
  • All three types have coarse, black feathers but differ in other traits.
  • The Long-Wattled Umbrellabird has a long black wattle on its throat.
  • The Amazonian Umbrellabird has mostly black feathers.
  • The Bare-Necked Umbrellabird has a featherless patch on its chin.
  • The birds tend to hop between branches in the trees to travel because of their large size.
  • Groups are called a “Lek” and migrate up and down the mountains instead of across land.
  • As omnivores, they eat everything from fruit to insects to small animals.
  • Adult birds have a wingspan that can reach over two feet.
  • The females lay one egg at a time, and it only incubates a month before hatching.
  • Both parents feed their chick for several months before it flies off on its own.
  • Their lifespan ranges from 12 to 20 years.
  • Monkeys, snakes, and birds of prey go after the eggs and young birds, but Umbrellabirds don’t have any other predator threats.
  • The Long-Wattled and the Bare-Necked types are both considered to be endangered species due to habitat depletion.

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